Environment

Summary

Every human impacts the environment, as individuals and communities trying to survive and prosper, and as companies seeking to provide jobs, energy, food, clothing, shelter and medicines that protect and improve lives. In doing so, we must also be stewards of the Earth and its wildlife and resources – with an obligation to focus on real problems, rather than exaggerated or illusory problems, and to do so while ensuring human health, welfare, living standards and pursuit of happiness, especially for families that still live in abject poverty, misery, deprivation and disease in the world’s most impoverished countries.

We must address not only the risks of using chemicals and other technologies, but also the risks of not using those technologies. We must consider not just the risks a technology might cause, but those that it would reduce or prevent. We must leave the Earth better than we found it; conserve, recycle, and improve our efficiency in using resources; and meet the needs of current generations, before worrying too much about future generations, which will have far greater wealth and better technology than we do.

Our responsibility as responsible, caring, innovative stewards of creation is to constantly improve our record on all fronts: from producing energy and raw materials to manufacture the goods we need, to growing sufficient nutritious food, to recycling more and further reducing the land use impacts and pollution associated with all human activities, to helping all people achieve their dreams. We must also recognize that policies which deny people access to reliable, affordable energy, well-paying jobs and modern living standards actually result in diminished environmental quality, as people struggling to survive often destroy habitats and wildlife to provide food and fuel.

 

Recent Articles

Agriculture
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    Ethanol and biodiesel: Guilty as charged

    Biodiesel and ethanol are killers — and thieves of fuel efficiency, engine life, and pocketbooks. They exist in our society primarily thanks to corruptible politicians who took advantage of an “oil crisis” to entrench themselves into the American automobile. They typically reduce gas mileage, increase engine wear, and create a multitude of other problems for consumers — including higher expenses for transportation.

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    Ducks Unlimited, Virginia winery face off in court over land-use restrictions

    Cronyism once again rears its ugly head, as Big Conservation seeks to infringe upon the rights of American property owners to use their land lawfully for profit and for the benefit of customers who make their businesses grow. This time. it is a small Virginia winery, but next time it may be you wanting to add a barbecue pit or even a hot tub. Hopefully, the courts will side with the property owners this time — but we must be eternally vigilant against these interlopers who seek godlike status in our society.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/feds-seizing-prpperty-213x120.png

    Greens, Feds team up to link land-use restrictions to climate change

    The behemoth that is the federal bureaucracy is wholly unaccountable to the people whom they are now pushing around via massive new regulations — Obama style — that take away private property rights without due process or even a hearing. Washington is out of control and must be reined in,

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Browns-Canyon-Colorado-topo-News-213x120.jpg

    Colorado canyon latest Obama “monument” land grab

    Once again, a President has designated land for national monuments without the advice and consent of Congress — an action unchecked during the Bush years after President Clinton’s highly controversial designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah. These land grabs may sound noble, but whenever federal officials replace state and local land managers, they tend to create problems for continuing use of the land and even surrounding areas. This is particularly true of Brown’s Canyon in Colorado, says the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

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    California raisin farmers get another day in court

    Raisin growers Marvin and Laura Horne have challenged a 66-year-old USDA regulation that allows the government to seize up to half a grower’s raisin crop for forced resale overseas at discounted prices. The stated purpose is to keep the domestic price for raisins artificially high, but the Hornes claim that the seizure of their crop amounts to an unconstitutional taking without adequate compensation – and now the case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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    I come to bury renewable fuel standards

    The federal ethanol mandate mut be rescinded, say CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen. Nearly 40% of the U.S. corn crop is devoted to ethanol, and this requires enormous amounts of irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gasoline or diesel fuel to grow, harvest, and ship the corn — and then to ship the ethanol. While corn growers are protected by the mandate, they are making money — but at the expense of chicken, turkey, egg, and hog farmers who are paying an extra $100 billion a year in feed costs. Moreover, energy from oil and gas drilling is much less harmful to the environment — especially given the high usage of water, the unbearable flow of life-killing nutrients into the Gulf of Mexico, and of course the negative impacts on gasoline and diesel engines from the added ethanol (and the lower miles per gallon it delivers). It is time, says Driessen, to bury the Renewable Fuel Standard and the ethanol subsidies.

Air
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    EPA’s Tower of Pisa policies

    As dangerous as current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and her former colleague Al Amendariz were, recent revelations indicate that two other EPA officials — convicted felon John Beale and Robert Brenner — may have been much worse. The pair concocted the sue-and-settle scheme that provides virtual kickbacks to “friendly” plaintiffs. They also manipulated scientific studies and even authorized illegal experiments on human test subjects to “justify” extremely stringent EPA regulations that slow or reverse business development — and now the EPA claims it cannot find the scientific data upon which some major job-killing rules were supposedly based.

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    Clearing the air on pollution trends

    Is America’s air quality getting cleaner, or dirtier? Well while many believe it is getting dirtier because of more factories, people and cars, a new report by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute indicates otherwise.

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    EPA seeks to punish drivers (again) via its Tier 3 regulations

    Citizens need to tell EPA: “The huge improvements to date are enough for now. We have other crucial health, environmental, employment and economic problems to solve – which also affect human health and welfare. We don’t have the financial, human or technological resources to do it all – especially to waste billions on something where the quantifiable health benefits payback is minimal, or even zero.”

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    Chinese air episode exposes EPA fraud on PM 2.5 levels

    EPA claims that fine particulate matter at levels above 12 micrograms per cubic meter kills people within hours and causes a quarter of all U.S. deaths, but during a recent episode in China when fine PM levels were 89 times higher than the EPA standard, the only deaths attributed to the episode were from traffic accidents due to poor visibility. EPA is using this fraud to shut down coal power plants, creating higher energy costs that really do cause premature deaths among America’s poor.

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    Sniffing out dirty local air

    We’ve all heard warnings about bad air-quality days. But since those readings are usually taken from just a few monitors scattered around the city, does that tell us anything about the specific air we actually breathe?

  • Reaffirming the cornerstone of freedom

    Freedom 21, of which CFACT was a co-founding organization, is a coalition of groups that came together, quite literally, in the waning days of the last century, to build a domestic and international movement that could promote freedom as the guiding principle for the 21st Century and beyond.

Biodiversity
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    Carbon dioxide won’t cause famines

    Dennis Avery cites the historical record of miniature ice ages that have created hard times for people, and the warming cycles that have benefited human, animal, and plant life. Indeed, Avery concludes that “misguided opposition to biotechnology, fossil fuels,and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide could very well condemn millions of people to malnutrition and starvation, and numerous wildlife species to extinction.”

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    Wind power or wildlife: It’s your choice!

    America needs an “all of the sensible” energy policy. If an energy option makes sense – technically, economically and environmentally – it should be implemented. If it flunks, it should be scrapped.

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    Eagle killers get off scot free?

    Free-market advocates have a hard time explaining that being anti-environmentalist is not the same as being anti-environment. Big Green has done such a thorough job of casting itself as nature’s selfless, altruistic guardian that supporters don’t even notice that their rants against “money-grubbing polluters” always end with “Send Money.”

  • Act now to save the bald eagle!

    Submit your comment to the federal register to save our national bird Bald eagles are our national bird. Golden eagles […]

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    Sustainable fizzle: Rio+20 utopia

    Rio+20 was clearly not about enabling countries, communities and companies to do a better job of protecting environmental values, while helping families to climb out of poverty. It was about using sustainable development pieties to target development projects, limit individual liberty and market-based initiatives, and provide sufficient wind and solar power to generate and demonstrate modest improvements in developing countries’ living conditions – while ensuring that poor families never become middle class, and communities never actually conquer poverty, misery and disease.

Endangered Species
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    Western States scramble to avoid ESA listing for greater sage-grouse

    First, it was the spotted owl — a horrific decision that destroyed jobs forever despite faulty science. Then, the land grabbers at the USGS and the FWS determined that the “Gunnison sage-grouse” is a different species (not just a variety, as is the scientific reality) from the “greater sage-grouse,” and so took more land out of production. Now these servants of the state (not the people) want to list the “greater sage-grouse” — yet another taking that is facing real opposition. The Endangered Species Act as written and executed is bad law that uses bad science — and does not adequately protect the species it claims to favor.

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    Six energy policy changes to watch for in a Republican-controlled Congress

    CFACT advisor Marita Noon suggests six major areas of confrontation and change now the the Republican Party controls both the House and Senate: the long-awaited (and perhaps too late) approval for the Keystone XL pipeline; a major expansion of oil and gas and minerals development on federal lands; lifting the current ban on U.S. oil and gas exports; reining in the EPA’s power, especially as it applies to the proposed Clean Power Plan and the expanded Waters of the United States regulations; major reforms to the Endangered Species Act that would turn landowners from enemies to protectors of threatened and endangered species; and an end to climate alarmism as official U.S. Congress policy. Nearly all of these changes are expected to be vigorously fought by President Obama and the White House.

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    Workers suffer when militarized police and Big Green get together

    Billionaire environmentalists have long been at war against the American people — and hide behind federal agencies which have joyfully done their bidding. Today, however, people are awakening to this threat, and fighting back against the billionaires. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has written, the poor will revolt against this micro-management of the economy and the environment by rich elites.

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    U.S. Government releases predators against its own people

    With pressure from environmentalists (including anti-meat activists), the federal government reintroduced the Mexican grey wolf into southern New Mexico and other areas — to the dismay of ranchers and their families, livestock, and pets. The anti-people zealots are now demanding even greater protections for these wolves, who routinely kill other endangered or threatened species and pose genuine threats to people despite claims that wolves do not attack humans. The time is now to fight against this dangerous trend — by submitting comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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    Carbon dioxide won’t cause famines

    Dennis Avery cites the historical record of miniature ice ages that have created hard times for people, and the warming cycles that have benefited human, animal, and plant life. Indeed, Avery concludes that “misguided opposition to biotechnology, fossil fuels,and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide could very well condemn millions of people to malnutrition and starvation, and numerous wildlife species to extinction.”

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    Obama Administration hides its use of bad science

    Marita Noon excoriates the Obama Administration for its stonewalling on Freedom of Information Act requests — and for its chutzpah in ignoring the law in using the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Clean Air Act to restrict access to public and private lands for farming, ranching, and energy development, and reduce the availability of affordable electricity—making essential food and power costs ever-increasing. To stop this unlawful onslaught, Noon urges citizens to utilize the Information Quality Act

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    Environmental shakedown through bastardized application of science, policy, and education

    Marita Noon explains how the Center for Biological Diversity, a group founded by fired federal employees, has misused the Endangered Species Act to stop development and pocket millions of dollars – and the compliant federal government is not even keeping track of tyhe money it has doled out in legal fees who file friendly lawsuits that are quickly settled to the detriment of citizens.

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    Time to reform the Endangered Species Act

    The Endangered Species Act does not save endangered species very often. Instead, the law tends to have the opposite effect: anyone who spots an endangered or threatened species on his/her property has the perverse incentive to eliminate the predator who is destroying the value and use of his/her property. Reforms are in the works, but it will take a miracle to get the bill through Congress and signed by the President.

Food
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    New Brooklyn hydroponic greenhouse? Don’t fuggedaboutit!

    When you think about food at a bowling alley, you might think of pizza and fries, not freshly grown lettuce and herbs. But according to Wired.com, a group called Gotham Greens has transformed the roof of an abandoned bowling alley in Brooklyn into a thriving, 15,000 square-foot greenhouse.

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    USDA shirking its responsibility to inspect organic food!

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits synthetic nitrogen fertilizer in organic production and encourages natural compost. But it does not test for un-composted feces. At least 140 people across eight states have now fallen ill after consuming hepatitis-A-infected certified-organic frozen berries and pomegranate seeds; 61 were still in hospitals in mid-July.

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    Biotechnology is the future of food, today

    Genetically modified foods are feared by some, but are these fears this justified? Dr. Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, says no, and here explains why. . . .

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    Can wood feed the world?

    Wood is used for everything from kitchen tables to baseball bats, but might it also be a source of food for a growing world population?

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    Why should “organic” mean “untested”?

    Organic farmers in many developing countries – such as Turkey, the apparent origin of this outbreak – still use raw human sewage to fertilize crops! In many people’s opinion, that practice qualifies as “organic” – whereas using safe modern fertilizers and insecticides does not! Even worse, feces contamination cannot be washed off. It’s embedded in the plant.

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    Think local, shop global

    Are foods like lettuce, eggs and beef better for you if they’re grown locally in your area, than if they’re shipped in from far away? Not necessarily . . .

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    How safe is your organic food?

    How safe are organic foods, especially when compared to conventionally grown varieties? Not as safe as many assume. A recall has just been announced for certified organic berries sold at Costco. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 106 people in eight states have contracted hepatitis A, a debilitating disease that can last for weeks or months, and even be deadly, after eating Townsend Farms frozen berries bought at the box store retailer.

Land Use
  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/chrysalissign-213x120.jpg

    Ducks Unlimited, Virginia winery face off in court over land-use restrictions

    Cronyism once again rears its ugly head, as Big Conservation seeks to infringe upon the rights of American property owners to use their land lawfully for profit and for the benefit of customers who make their businesses grow. This time. it is a small Virginia winery, but next time it may be you wanting to add a barbecue pit or even a hot tub. Hopefully, the courts will side with the property owners this time — but we must be eternally vigilant against these interlopers who seek godlike status in our society.

  • http://www.cfact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/feds-seizing-prpperty-213x120.png

    Greens, Feds team up to link land-use restrictions to climate change

    The behemoth that is the federal bureaucracy is wholly unaccountable to the people whom they are now pushing around via massive new regulations — Obama style — that take away private property rights without due process or even a hearing. Washington is out of control and must be reined in,

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    House property rights caucus to target abuse of landowners

    The new Private Property Rights Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives will target legislation and regulations that interfere with the free and lawful use of private property. Created by Rep. Tom Reed (R, NY), the caucus hopes to build a broad-based coalition that will restore Constitutional rights and enable property owners to provide for themselves and their families.

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    Prospectors, North Carolina land trust face off over access to gold

    While the Land Trust of Central North Carolina did purchase some property along the Uwharrie River, their attempts to stifle suction dredging by local prospectors looking for gold may have run afoul of North Carolina law — the prospectors surely think that the state, not the Land Trust, owns the riverbed and thus the Land Trust has no right to impede the dredging.

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    Shakeup at Virginia land trust makes waves

    Heather Richards may have resigned from her job with the Piedmont Environmental Council, but she is in a position of even greater authority now as chair of the Land Trust Accredication Commission — and one wonders whether other land trusts are also abusing power as the PEC clearly did. As for Richards, she cannot even seem to tell the truth about her upbringing.

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    House bill would give land trusts power over private forestlands

    The proposed “Forest Legacy Management Flexibility Act” would, according to its supporters, promote conservation of private forestlands by reducing administrative burdens for states. Conservation easements under the federal Forest Legacy Program could be held by accredited land trusts rather than state agencies. CFACT advisor Bonner Cohen says the cost to the public of this bill would be incalculable. Far better than the landowners ignore these land trusts and manage their own property and pass it along to their heirs.

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    Colorado canyon latest Obama “monument” land grab

    Once again, a President has designated land for national monuments without the advice and consent of Congress — an action unchecked during the Bush years after President Clinton’s highly controversial designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah. These land grabs may sound noble, but whenever federal officials replace state and local land managers, they tend to create problems for continuing use of the land and even surrounding areas. This is particularly true of Brown’s Canyon in Colorado, says the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

Pollution
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    Solving the PCB problem with cooperation instead of litigation

    Ron Arnold details the story of how industry, environmentalists, and regulators are working together to overcome a paradoxical EPA rule that allows PCBs in products but bans the disposal of wastewater containing PCB residues. This story, sadly, is atypical of today’s EPA, especially as it applies to energy and water issues.

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    Norway’s biggest grill open for business

    You’ve heard about microwaving a frozen dinner or popcorn, but how about an airplane? Well just such a contraption was recently developed in Norway and promises both safety and environmental benefits.

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    Designer islands

    You’ve heard of designer jeans, but how about designer islands? Well according to the publication More Greener Pastures, such designer islands are now a reality.

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    Clearing the air on pollution trends

    Is America’s air quality getting cleaner, or dirtier? Well while many believe it is getting dirtier because of more factories, people and cars, a new report by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute indicates otherwise.

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    Nanowires help bacteria clean up toxic waste

    Bacteria are known to be able to clean up toxic metals and even nuclear waste. But now, researchers at Michigan State University have unraveled the mystery of how these small micro-organisms pull off this helpful feat.

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    USGS study clears fracking in Arkansas

    Opponents of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, also known as “fracking,” have long claimed that it contaminants drinking water. Unfortunately for them, they have been unable to find such contamination . . .

Recycling
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    Solving the PCB problem with cooperation instead of litigation

    Ron Arnold details the story of how industry, environmentalists, and regulators are working together to overcome a paradoxical EPA rule that allows PCBs in products but bans the disposal of wastewater containing PCB residues. This story, sadly, is atypical of today’s EPA, especially as it applies to energy and water issues.

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    Designer islands

    You’ve heard of designer jeans, but how about designer islands? Well according to the publication More Greener Pastures, such designer islands are now a reality.

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    New York City mandates … composting?

    New York City is creating a composting program that will eventually become mandatory. Jeff Stier of the National Center for Public Policy Research, takes issue with New York Mayor Bloomberg’s new initiative, and has this to say.

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    Recycling is for the birds?

    Everyone knows that trash can be recycled into useful household items. But did you know that birds are also catching on to this?

  • Automated waste-sorter to trash old recycling?

    Having to sort tin cans, plastic bottles, and stinky leftovers is no fun for anyone. But a new technology in Australia called the UR-3R may just end up disposing of this old-fashioned recycling by hand.

Water
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    WOTUS: Court blocks EPA water rule

    At the eleventh hour a federal court ordered an injunction blocking EPA’s water rule.

    EPA was defiant. EPA bureaucrats declared that they will only halt the rule in the 13 states that requested the injunction.

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    EPA flooded with lawsuits over controversial water rule

    Twenty-nine states have filed lawsuits against the EPA for redefining the “Waters of the United States,” or WOTUS. Should local streams, irrigation ponds, roadside ditches, and even “connective” dry lands be placed under the authority of the Clean Water Act?

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    Curbing EPA Abuses

    What can be done to curb these abuses and usurpations, and rein in this renegade agency?

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    Proposed water rule puts Americans at EPA’s mercy

    It seems incredible, but a single missing word could turn a water law into a government land grab so horrendous even a U.S. Supreme Court justice warned it would “put the property rights of every American entirely at the mercy of Environmental Protection Agency employees.”

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    WOTUS: The facts about EPA’s wet fiction

    Landowners, homeowners, business owners, home builders, construction companies, the forestry and mining industries, and just about everyone else engaged in productive activities in the United States are in the crosshairs of the most far-reaching power grab the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ever undertaken.

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    EPA in hot WOTUS as people say, “ditch this rule!”

    Should the feds seize control over every wet ditch and puddle in the U.S.? Big Green foundations have been lusting after WOTUS power since the late 1990s. People are speaking up and sharing their stories. EPA is sweating. EPA should sweat.

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    Wyoming ranchers sue Western Watersheds Project for trespassing

    Wyoming ranchers are suing the Western Watersheds Project for trespassing for gathering water samples on private and state land without permission. WWP’s stated mission is to rid public lands of all grazing leases. Writer Ron Arnold says their activities constitute “rural cleansing.”

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    If it’s wet, EPA wants to regulate it

    WOTUS gives untrustworthy federal bureaucrats custody of every watershed, creates crushing new power to coerce all who keep America going and offers no benefit to the victimized and demoralized tax-paying public.