By Alan Caruba
For sixty years I lived on a little street called Brookside Road. The name came from a real brook, a Depression-era project lined with smooth rocks that was serene and beautiful, bounded by trees on both sides.
Some in the federal government want to exert control over that brook and over every drop of water in America. It is an attack on private property and it is emblematic of the real agenda of environmentalists. It is Communism.
The American Land Rights Association recently issued a notice. “Having been slapped down by the U.S. Supreme Court’s two recent decisions that the words ‘navigable waters’ in the Clean Water Act limited federal agencies to regulation of navigable waters only, Democrats and liberal Republicans in Congress are striking back.”
I wrote a recent commentary on the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to circumvent the wording of the Clean Air Act in order to regulate carbon dioxide, the gas upon which all vegetation relies in the same way humans and other creatures require oxygen. Now the EPA in conjunction with the Corps of Engineers wants to control all waters nationwide.
It is a naked grab for power that the Founding Fathers feared. John Adams wrote that “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.”
Private property is so essential to freedom that the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution specifically says “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” There would be no just compensation if the EPA acquires the power to decide how Americans can use water and where.
Just as we have already seen examples of how U.S. agriculture is being sabotaged by the Endangered Species Act, denying water to farms in Oregon and California, there are countless other examples of how these “environmental” laws are used to keep new plants to generate electrical energy from being built and the thwarting of all manner of other development.
Environmentalism used to mean conservation, but now it is just Communism, first, last and always.
The proposed language to change the Clean Water Act would replace “navigable waters”, i.e., rivers, lakes, and bays, on which a ship, barge or boat could travel, with the all-encompassing phrase “waters of the United States.”
Here’s their definition:
“The term ‘waters of the United States’ means all waters subject to ebb and flow of the tides, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes [a flat dried up area, especially. a desert basis] natural ponds and all impoundment of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.”
Deserts? Sandflats? Wet meadows? Praire potholes?
But the Constitution expressly forbids the taking of private property and that includes countless lakes, ponds, desert and forested holdings. If the EPA is empowered to tell property owners what they can and cannot do with their own property as the result of a puddle, a pool or ordinary rain runoff that is, for all intents and purposes, a “taking” by the U.S. government.
In my home State of New Jersey, a vast area in the northwestern region was designated a water reserve and the people who owned homes and other properties there lost the value of those properties along with the right to undertake any change or addition to them. It was a clear “taking” by the State, but was upheld by its liberal courts.
Now liberals in Congress want to literally “take” every square mile and inch of America by ceding to the EPA and the Corps of Engineers powers forbidden by the Constitution and feared by the nation’s founders.
Just how important is water to life? America has spent billions to search for it on the Moon and Mars!
Here again, Americans must call upon their Representatives and Senators in Congress to determine if they support this vile legislation or to find out what steps they will take to stop it. The proposed bill in the House has no number as of this writing, but the one in the Senate is S-787.
Americans, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike are locked into a battle with Congress and the White House to protect the Constitution and to protest policies that are totalitarian in nature and a threat to our most fundamental beliefs.
Nearly a million made their voices heard on September 12 in Washington, D.C. and continue to organize Tea Parties.
There are forces at work in our nation’s capital that are seeking to destroy the nation through the devaluation of the dollar, the takeover of major industries and other aspects of our economy, and the imposition on huge taxes in the midst of a crippling Recession.
Fight them! Fight them! Fight them!
© Alan Caruba, July 2008
Used with permission.