Conflicted Golfer-in-Chief Takes Swing at Clean Water Rule

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: The U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Army and Army Corps of Engineers are expected to propose a new rule rescinding the Clean Water Rule issued under the Obama administration in 2015. The golf course industry opposes the rule, also known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

The Trump administration’s likely repeal of the Clean Water Rule rule will benefit owners of golf courses around the country, an industry that includes President Trump himself. This move is a triple bogey that leaves the public in the rough.

It likely would benefit President Donald Trump, who owns or has Trump-branded golf courses in Florida (two), New York (three), New Jersey (two), Virginia (outside Washington, D.C.), California, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. As the nation’s golfer-in chief, Trump is aiding his industry and himself by undercutting vital protections for Americans’ drinking water.

The rule protects the cleanliness and health of our nation’s waters. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this objective. Almost one in three Americans – roughly 117 million people – get their drinking water from streams that lacked clear protection before issuance of the Clean Water Rule.

Instead of catering to golf course barons, President Trump and his administration should acknowledge the purpose of the Clean Water Rule and its importance to the health of millions of Americans.

The rule itself is a relatively modest measure to clarify the application of the Clean Water Act. It went through a lengthy process that involved elaborate consultations with affected stakeholders.

But those are not the kinds of things you think about when you and your cronies have an interest that runs afoul of the health of millions.

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