Energy & Environment

Republican senators challenge Biden water protection rule

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
Greg Nash
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, January 31, 2023.

Senate Republicans are attempting to repeal the Biden administration’s water regulations, though their effort faces an uphill battle. 

Republicans, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), introduced a resolution on Thursday that would ax the rule. 

The Biden administration recently put forward regulations on the country’s waters that are likely to be a middle ground between regulations under the Trump and Obama administrations. 

The regulations define which waters get federal protections. Protected waters would require businesses to obtain a permit for activities like construction that could damage water quality, while unprotected waters do not. 

Capito attempted to eliminate the Biden rule, finalized in December, using a tool called the Congressional Review Act, under which Congress can get rid of recent regulations. 

But, since this tool requires presidential approval, the effort is highly unlikely to actually work in this case. 

Yet, it highlights Republican frustration with the regulations. 

“This Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval will give every member of Congress the chance to stand with farmers, ranchers, landowners, and builders, and protect future transportation, infrastructure, and energy projects of all kinds in their states,” Capito, the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement.

Tags Joe Biden Shelley Moore Capito

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