Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt Angry Over Narrow Application of Injunction Against WOTUS by DOJFri, 28 Aug 2015 09:10:11 CDT
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is not happy with the decision made by the Department of Justice to say that the Preliminary Injunction granted on Thursday afternoon in a Federal District Court in North Dakota only applies to the thirteen states that were plantiffs in that lawsuit- and that the rest of the United States- thirty seven states- are subject to the EPA's Clean Water Rule becoming effectively the law of the land, as of today.
On Thursday afternoon, President Obama’s push to extend the EPA’s regulatory hand to ditches and small streams to enforce clean water rules was blocked federal judge Ralph Erickson, who said the administration had overstepped its bounds in trying yet another end run around Congress.
Judge Erickson called the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt “inexplicable, arbitrary and devoid of a reasoned process,” and issued an injunction preventing the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from claiming oversight of millions of acres of land that contain small bodies of water.
The EPA, though, said it will only honor the injunction in the 13 states that had sued, and will move forward with the rules in the rest of the country.
“In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” the agency said in a statement. “The agencies are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.”
Pruitt talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays on Friday morning- and told Hays that historically "when a federal judge anywhere in the country constrains or enjoins any federal agency from taking action that was unlawful that the Justice Department would apply that ruling across the country." Pruitt says that makes sense- but in the Thursday ruling by Judge Erickson, the Obama Administration is taking a very narrow view of how to apply that injunction- "saying they are only going to apply that as it relates to that litigation- and then treat every other state across the country differently."
Pruitt says that is wrong and that he will be on a conference call this morning with his peers across the country- looking at how to address this.
Pruiit and Hays discuss the ruling by Judge Erickson( Click here to see the complete ruling), the attitude of the Obama Administration and what lies ahead in fighting implementation of the Clean Water Rule, which Pruitt contends goes far beyond what Congress authorized in the Clean Water Act as passed in the 1970s.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear that complete conversation.
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