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WASHINGTON –On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations – of which U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) is a member – took aim at the Obama Administration’s pattern of unnecessary federal overreach and costly environmental regulations through passage of the fiscal year 2016 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The legislation, which now heads to the full Senate for a vote, would block the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), as well as allow states to opt out of the EPA's Clean Power Plan rule which threatens to increase energy costs for Americans while providing minimal environmental benefits.  

“The passage of this legislation out of the Appropriations Committee makes it clear that the Senate will not stand by and allow the Obama Administration to continue to issue unnecessary regulations that harm the economy and the lives of Kansans,’ Sen. Moran said. “For both the WOTUS rule and the EPA's Clean Power Plant rule, the EPA has ignored the clear objections of stakeholders from across the country about the devastating impacts these regulatory schemes will have on families and businesses. I will continue to work to protect Kansas families, the rural economy and small businesses from deeply flawed regulations.” 

The FY2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill would block funding to implement the WOTUS rule that was finalized by the EPA and USACE on May 27, 2015. The WOTUS rule expands the EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act to include land and water far removed from traditional navigable waters. The EPA and USACE ignored the vast feedback they received from farmers, ranchers and other affected stakeholders after proposing the rule and marched forward with a final rule that contains the same threatening flaws. The WOTUS rule infringes on private property rights and threatens agriculture producers and small businesses with potential fines and lawsuits unless they abide by burdensome, unnecessary regulations when performing every day functions on their operations.  

The Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill also allows states to opt out of the EPA's rules limiting greenhouse-gas emissions for existing power plants. The Clean Power Plan is a part of President Obama’s war on coal, which threatens electricity prices and power grid reliability in the name of combatting climate change. Sen. Moran continues to believe the best way to address the rules impact on American families and businesses is by withdrawing the ill-conceived and overreaching rule in its entirety.