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Speeches and Floor Statements

Beyer Remarks Opposing Republican Legislation to Weaken Clean Water Protections

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC), today delivered remarks during House floor debate on the Republican resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block the Biden administration’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule safeguarding Americans’ clean water.

Beyer previously led the effort against the Trump administration’s Dirty Water Rule to weaken protections for America’s wetlands and waterways.

Beyer’s remarks as prepared follow below, with video here:

I urge my colleagues to join me in voting no on this effort to kill the certainty provided by the EPA’s Waters of the US rule.

The EPA’s rulemaking restores what was protected by law for the nearly 50 years before Trump’s Dirty Water rule went into effect.

It’s an important step forward to restore smart clean water protections and provide additional clarity for stakeholders.

We need this desperately for clean water because over half of the rivers and lakes in our country are too polluted for swimming, fishing, or drinking.

Americans are speaking up, saying that they want to swim and fish in their streams.

This EPA rule is a step forward to protect wetlands too.

Last month, Stanford scientists showed that our country has lost more wetlands than any other country.

We need to protect the wetlands that we still have left.

Wetlands sequester carbon, helping us meet our safe climate goals.

Wetlands are habitat that will help us stop the biodiversity crisis.

Stakeholders have been demanding certainty about what waters are covered since the early aughts.

The new Rulemaking addresses that directly.

Voting for the CRA actually undoes the certainty that the Rule provides and leaves EPA unable to address it with any other rulemakings.

So I am here today to ask my colleagues to vote no.

I’m voting no to support Americans who want swimmable, fishable, drinkable waters.

I’m voting no for a safe climate and thriving biodiversity.

I’m voting no for our business community to ensure they have regulatory certainty.

For the Americans that want a clean water future, vote NO.