Do we have to pretend that most of the critics of EPA’s proposed rule about “waters of the U.S.” are well informed? That they have carefully read the 84-page preface and text of the proposed rule in the Federal Register? That they fully understand the current rules and also the direction given by two relevant Supreme Court decisions? That they have read and absorbed the many thousands of comments? That they have carefully perused the agency’s 300-page report, “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence”?
Naah. When the Florida Farm Bureau or Ag. Commissioner Adam Putnam or the Florida Chamber of Commerce say the rule is all wrong, one might believe they are shilling for their interest group. That seems too harsh. I believe they are sincere. This is probably just a case of affirming their identities to other members of the tribe. You can’t be a member of these affinity groups without reflexively opposing this kind of environmental action. No thinking is necessary.
The trouble, though, is that water resources are not admitted to that tribe and consequently receive a lot of unnecessarily hostile views.