Last month, the LANDTHINK Pulse posed the following question to our audience: What action should the federal government take with regard to increasing or decreasing EPA regulations?
Our informal online survey revealed that 51.95% of respondents believe that it’s time to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory overreach on our land, water and air. While 51.95% said EPA regulations should be “reduced significantly”, another 15.74% said “reduce slightly”; anyway you look at it, government intrusion and ever-increasing federal regulations have the majority of Americans seeing red. Republicans have had the EPA on the chopping block in recent years, and the Trump Administration has hit the ground running- wasting no time launching a complete overhaul of the agency that includes dismantling Obama-era regulations, downsizing the 15,000-person workforce, and slashing a quarter of their $8.1 billion budget.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, tagged by Trump to head the EPA, was confirmed by the Senate just last month. First up on President Trump’s agenda was signing an executive order that directed the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review the Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS) also known as the Clean Water Rule. It is the first step of a lengthy process to fulfill his campaign promise to ultimately eliminate the measure.
The WOTUS rule governs which small bodies of water fall under federal clean water protections, and was enacted to protect navigable waterways from pollution. WOTUS met steadfast opposition from farm and ranch owners, agricultural industry, as well as many landowners across the U.S. These groups have applauded President Trump’s executive order, believing that WOTUS is a massive overreach of the federal government, and drastically restricts their ability to use and enjoy their own property. President Trump is expected to sign another executive order this week to repeal the Clean Power Plan, an EPA regulation that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32% within twenty-five years. It was the cornerstone of Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Trump says the directive would cause coal power plants to shut down, which would hurt the economy and job creation.
It was the general consensus of the LANDTHINK audience (51.95%) that the EPA should scale back regulations “significantly”. Coming in second, but not by a close margin, was 15.74%, who indicated only “slight reductions” were needed. Many hold the opinion that most of the current regulations kill jobs and negatively impact economic growth. Only 12.52% disagreed, believing that regulation should “increase significantly, followed by just 11.0% who believed no change was needed. Only 8.80% indicated that EPA regulations should “increase slightly”.
Environmentalists are outraged that President Trump chose climate change sceptic Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA and over the fact that President Trump has set the wheels in motion to dismantle Obama’s environmental and climate legacy.
Here’s how the results panned out:
- 51.95% said Reduce Significantly
- 15.74% said Reduce Slightly
- 12.52% said Increase Significantly
- 11.0% said No Change
- 8.80% said Increase Slightly
Thank you to everyone who participated and shared the Pulse with friends and connections in the land industry.
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