Oklahoma AG Believes WOTUS May Remain Tied Up in Federal Court For the Balance of the Obama PresidencyMon, 11 Jan 2016 04:47:30 CST
Oklahoma's Attorney General was the featured speaker at the 2016 Farm and Ranch Forum hosted by the American Farmers and Ranchers in Enid on Friday. Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt offered an update on his part of the national challenge that has been made against the Environmental Proection Agency over their Waters of the US Rule. He told the group he is hopeful that the litigation will prevent the Obama Administration from being able to fully implement WOTUS before the end of the President's second term in early 2017.
Pruitt was one of several AGs that filed lawsuits against the EPA after the agency published the final rule on the Waters of the US in late August.
Pruitt believes that the Sixth Circuit stay for the entire country will remain in place for a considerable amount of time, telling Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays that "It will stay in effect while the case is pending and litigated." In October, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that Oklahoma and the other states proved they were likely to succeed on the merits of their various lawsuits challenging the rule. Pruitt is confident the stay will remain in effect until the Obama Administration leaves office..
“What the President is trying to do in many incidents, is avoid that rule making process in order to accelerate these obligations and almost create the inevitability that they are going to happen, so people start complying, even though they are not law and they are not proper rules,” Pruitt said. “It is something we have to respond to through litigation, to get stays of enforcement against the EPA, to hold them accountable, to make sure that folk’s interests across the country and across the state of Oklahoma are protected.”
Pruitt said his office also continues to focus on organizations such as HSUS to make sure that the purpose for which they exist are achieved. He said it’s a concern across the board with organizations that may be acting like a 501 (c)4, a public advocacy or educational entity while they are set up as a 501 (c) C3, which is a charitable organization. Charitable organizations receive a tax benefit, while public advocacy organizations do not. Pruitt said it’s important to maintain that distinction and enforcement. He said additional announcements on his office's investigation on the Humane Society of the US and how their fund raising claims match up with how the money is being spent could come out in the near future.
Under Internal Revenue Service rules, a 501(c)3 is a non-profit for religious, charitable or educational purposes. These types of non-profits typically conduct research and can only engage in a limited amount of lobbying, advocacy or political activity.
Donations to 501(c)3 groups are tax-deductible.
A 501(c)4 is a social welfare group and can engage in more advocacy and lobbying. Donations to 501(c)4 groups are not tax-deductible.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Pruitt after his presentation at the Farm and Ranch Forum. To listen to the full interview, click or tap on the LISTENBAR below.
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