Although the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump focused a lot of attention on his foreign policy corruption in trying to bribe Ukraine for damaging intel on the Bidens, his administration’s belligerence keeps spreading through other means as well. Now, a coalition of a full 14 states have banded together with a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over their planned cancellation of an Obama era rule that expanded the kinds of waterways that are under federal supervision. Opponents of the so-called Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule argued that it was unnecessarily overbearing.
New York Attorney General Letitia James — who has countered Trump numerous times already and has also faced public criticism from him — countered:
‘This regressive rule ignores science and the law and strips our waters of basic protections under the Clean Water Act. Attorneys general across this nation will not stand by as the Trump Administration seeks to reverse decades of progress we’ve made in fighting water pollution.’
The Trump administration’s planned rule to replace WOTUS is apparently expected to be more fully fleshed out with specifics about the types of waterways that are covered this coming year.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra added:
‘We refuse to allow the backward policies of the Trump Administration to inflict lasting damage on our nation’s waterways. There is a legal way of doing business that President Trump has so far refused to learn.’
He has also already countered the Trump administration numerous times inside and outside of court. The suit that he, James, and others have brought alleges that the Trump administration is in violation of both the 1970s Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. In the case of that older environmental protection legislation, plantiffs are arguing that the Trump administration’s new plans simply do not meet the requirement of actual substantive protection of U.S. waterways. They add that — as others have successfully argued in other Trump administration cases — the president’s team has acted illegally arbitrarily in their planned rollback of the WOTUS rule.
The U.S. Supreme Court itself already even ruled against the Trump administration’s haphazard decision making when they struck down their attempt to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. That question was tailored to intimidate immigrant communities.
In this case, the EPA as led by current Administrator Andrew Wheeler has not responded to the new suit, but Wheeler has previously defended the planned erasure of the Obama era water protection rule in question, which comes alongside numerous other Trump admin attempts to rollback important environmental protection measures to make life easier for U.S. industry.
At one point, Wheeler commented:
‘Thanks to the leadership of the EPA we can move forward with a water rule that protects clean water, is within the bounds of the law and doesn’t pose a threat to manufacturing in America. We have to have regulatory certainty, clean, fair smart regulations of environmental law.’
The real legacy of the Trump administration — its EPA included — is shaping up to be corruption. Wheeler, who was promptly placed under investigation for his lobbying ties after taking office, replaced Scott Pruitt, who resigned under a cloud of corruption scandals — and the list goes on.