GOP lawmaker moves to impeach EPA chief McCarthy
September 15, 2015
A Republican lawmaker is moving to impeach the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, accusing her of committing perjury and making false statements in testimony to Congress – though the impeachment bid seems unlikely to succeed.
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar introduced the resolution seeking the ouster of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. In a letter to members of Congress requesting co-sponsors, Gosar specifically claimed McCarthy perjured herself when testifying on the Clean Water Rule, on how the rule was drafted and its legal justification.
"McCarthy not only broke the law by lying to Congress, but in doing so she also lied to the American people in order to force misguided and overreaching regulations, which have no scientific basis, down our throats," Gosar said in a statement, adding that EPA mandates under President Obama "will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and cause untold economic harm to communities throughout the country."
Critics argue the rule could greatly expand the reach of federal regulators, making every stream, ditch and puddle on farmers' and others' private land subject to federal oversight. However, the EPA claims the rule safeguards drinking water for millions of Americans and the rule will only affect waters that have a "direct and significant" connection to larger bodies of
Among the instances cited in the letter, Gosar notes that on Feb. 4, McCarthy said the EPA was “not expanding jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, we are not eliminating any exemptions or exclusions in this proposal, we are in fact narrowing the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act consistent with sound science and the law.”
However, Gosar says information on the EPA’s website contradicts this, saying that 3.2 percent of additional waters will be found jurisdictional and that “until now 60 percent of our streams and millions of acres of wetlands all across the country were not protected.”
The letter also cites a statement at the same hearing in which McCarthy described the process behind the rule as “a robust dialogue with the states.” However, he says states and local governments were not included in the process of drafting the rule; Gosar notes that 28 states have filed lawsuits to block it.
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