Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey addresses Des Moines Water Works lawsuit with WW CEO Bill Stowe leading the charge against three NW Iowa counties, and ultimately, the farming industry. The case is to be heard by federal trial judge sometime in August 2016.
The lawsuit is supposedly over nitrates in the Raccoon River and though treatment might be costly, it would seem to fall into the expected responsibilities of a water treatment plant. It also seems that a utility with fiscal concerns would likely not be offering a $500,000 bonus to CEO Stowe at the same time they’re leveling a 10% rate hike upon customers/citizenry, but DSM WW did just that in March of 2015.
So one might wonder why DSM WW would spur such a lawsuit. Let alone how Water Works might determine that just Sac, Calhoun, and Buena Vista counties are to blame? Why does this go to a federal court?
Troubling on a variety of levels, this is an assault on Iowa farmers with potential harm to the farming industry as a whole, and further expansion into costly treatment of urban storm sewer systems may follow if a precedent is set and environmental groups ensue.
Most troubling, though, is Bill Stowe’s admitted goal in a DSM Register article, to bring the federal government oversight to override local jurisdiction and expand the regulatory reach of the Environmental Protection Agency which would surrender local control to federal jurisdictions. As battles brew over 10th Amendment and states’ rights, this is not a welcome intervention.
At a time when government overreach and administrative rules and costs from agencies like the EPA are:
- strangling family budgets with $14,976 annual costs to average household per Competitive Enterprise Institute;
- bankrupting the coal industry per Forbes.com;
- expected to kill 224,000 jobs a year through 2030 with an estimated $50Billion annually according to Fox News.
Americans and Iowans need relief from costly administrative rules and overreach. That Bill Stowe and an unelected utility board would seek such a lawsuit in hopes of inviting federal oversight of drainage ditches, and indirectly, private property and Iowa farmers is alarming. That Graham Gillette, the chair of the same unelected utility board which issued a 10% rate increase when giving Stowe a half-million dollar bonus would admit it was in part for compensation for his leadership in the lawsuit defies the public’s trust and is a perfect example of unelected officials with no accountability run-amok. This is exactly why voters should demand all taxing authority return and remain only in legislative bodies, county supervisory boards and city councils where members are accountable to the voters.
Equally concerning, one congressional member has referred to the EPA’s ‘waters of the U.S.’ rule as possibly one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history, according to DailyCaller.com, as it greatly expands power and possibly regulates small ponds, even waterways in ditches on private property and may give environmental groups the power to sue private property owners.
The DailyCaller.com also reports, “But the EPA says the rule is needed to clear up uncertainty over the EPA’s jurisdiction in the wake of two Supreme Court rulings. The EPA says “the decisions established important considerations for how those regulations should be interpreted” and that “[e]xperience implementing the regulations following the two court cases has identified several areas that could benefit from additional clarification through rule making.””
Would it possible that politics are part of this effort to create a lawsuit where a ruling could reinforce a desired outcome in asserting more federal jurisdiction? That too, would be an abuse of the system. Laws are to be decided and defined in the legislative branch, not the judicial. The citizenry shouldn’t have to pay outrageous attorney fees and court cost to find out what a law says and then hope a court ruling goes their way to know where their standing is in the law.
In the show Sec. Northey shared the numbers of Century and Heritage Farms where families have owned and worked the same land for 100 and 150 years. It’s very disappointing that the utility would intend to force federal jurisdiction upon Iowa landowners and taxpayers rather than simply work with farmers and local associations who are invested in Iowa, her communities, and her future.
The DM Reg reported that Ag leaders and growers are voluntarily working to keep nitrogen and other nutrients in the fields and the state legislature provided $9.6 million for conservation and water quality initiatives in 2015.
Working together would save all parties money, keep local control, and save Iowa property owners and practices from the risk of intrusion by bureaucrats in DC that have little knowledge nor concern of what is best in and for Iowa.
Working together is just Iowa Nice.
FUN FACTS ABOUT FARMING AND AGRICULTURE IN IOWA:
Hopefully, I got these right…
Iowa is top corn growing 37 out of 38 years, and the last 22 years straight.
If Iowa were a country, it would rank 4th behind China, US, and Brazil in corn growing. The whole European Union grows less corn than Iowa.
Only three countries grow more soybeans than Iowa. US, Iowa, and Argentina.
Iowa has been the top producing state 20 out of the last 25 years.
DSM Water Works sues 3 Iowa counties. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2015/07/15/des-moines-water-works-lawsuit-buena-vista-calhoun-sac-counties-water-quality/30191169/
DSM WW CEO gets $500,000 as customers get 10% rate increase, and utility board chair says its in part for Stowe’s leadership in lawsuit. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/2015/11/02/water-works-ceo-gets-500000-bonus-after-5-years/75046302/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=
Economy-wide regulatory costs amount to an average of $14,976 per household. https://cei.org/blog/ten-thousand-commandments-2015-fact-sheet
Study finds the rule will result in the loss of 224,000 jobs every year through 2030 and impose $50 billion in annual costs. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/02/obama-to-announce-rule-to-limit-emissions-from-fossil-burning-plants-part-his.html
If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the world’s tenth-largest economy, ranking behind Russia and ahead of India. http://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/commentary/item/20872-cei-report-3-554-new-regulations-in-2014
Obama admits his policies will cause coal companies to go bankrupt. http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemoore/2015/08/07/170/#587637c32a58
Mentions Obama’s policies create more harm to red states, than blue states. http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemoore/2015/08/07/170/#587637c32a58
“The ‘waters of the U.S.’ rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history…” http://dailycaller.com/2014/11/24/white-house-quietly-releases-plans-for-3415-regulations-ahead-of-thanksgiving-holiday/
Iowa Delegation signs letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy on RFS levels set by EPA for 2016 ethanol and 2017 biodiesel. https://davidyoung.house.gov/sites/davidyoung.house.gov/files/Scanned%20from%20IA03%20Congressman%20David%20Young.pdf