August 22, 2014 by CFACT
What recourse do you have if the feds say your property contains wetlands and you disagree?
According the the Fifth Circuit, you’re out of luck.
Circuit Judges Reavley, Davis, and Higginson (appointed by Presidents Carter, Reagan and Obama) ruled in Belle Co. v. Corps of Engineers that landowners cannot appeal determinations by the Army Corps. of Engineers that their land contains federally controlled wetlands to the courts.
You can read the full decision at CFACT.org.
The judges held that landowners must go through the entire costly ordeal of seeking a permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) before they can challenge the Corp.’s determination. The judge’s convoluted rationale was that the government’s determination that your land falls within the jurisdiction of the CWA is not final, however, for people seeking to use their land, final is just what it is.
In effect, if the feds say you have wetlands and you reply, “no I don’t, my land’s dry,” there’s nothing you can do.
This decision will not only make it harder and more expensive for people to use their own property, it is likely to discourage some landowners from developing their property at all.
EPA is currently accepting public comments on its proposed rule to broaden the definition of what constitutes “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the CWA to include just about every occasionally damp ditch and puddle in the nation. This will bring vast new parcels of land under federal control.
There’s a nationwide outcry going on over EPA’s WOTUS land grab and it’s not pretty for the Obama Administration.
Farm Bureaus and free market think tanks like CFACT have labored long and hard to educate the public about WOTUS and to encourage citizens to speak up before the public comment period expires October 20th.
You can sign CFACT’s public statement to EPA here. Please circulate it to a friend.
Efforts to educate the public about EPA’s new WOTUS rule are having an impact. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy actually said, “I have never proposed anything that I thought would be so well-received as this that has fallen totally flat on its face.”
EPA would like the public to believe its new rule to be benign, but landowners aren’t buying it.
Green-Left gadflies consider the Clean Water Act to be among their most potent weapons for thwarting economic activity.
On Monday Green campaigners used a bogus rationale about water to convince the Oregon Department of State Lands to deny a permit to Ambre Energy to export coal from Oregon’s Ports to Asia. The Australian energy company’s plans would have created 3,100 jobs and generated billions of dollars of economic activity. The plans were blocked when Oregon officials ruled that trace amounts of coal dust would hurt fisheries used by native American tribes.
If EPA’s WOTUS rule goes through, the Green’s ability to control land with this kind of trumped up rationale will magnify many fold.
Help CFACT collect as many signatures as possible.
Together let’s tell EPA to “ditch this rule!”
See more here.
Bob Tisdale, WUWT
It never fails. Hurricanes and tropical cyclones always bring out the manmade global warming alarmists, with their claims of unusually warm sea surface temperatures along the storm tracks. Of course those fictionally warmed sea surface temperatures were caused by rising CO2 emissions. We expected and saw that nonsense when Sandy struck the east coast of the U.S. mainland back in 2012. Not unexpectedly, data contradicted the claims. See the posts here and here.
The same unwarranted alarmist claims magically appeared when the two tropical cyclones (Iselle and Julio) threatened Hawaii last week. Iselle’s storm track is shown on the map to the right. (Please click on it to enlarge.) I’ve highlighted the coordinates I’ve used for Iselle’s storm track...before it reached Hawaii. Julio’s track was similar but ran a little north of Iselle’s. So, were the sea surface temperatures along Iselle and Julio’s storm tracks unusually warm, and have the sea surface temperatures there warmed during the satellite era?
The weekly Reynolds OI.v2 sea surface temperature anomalies for the coordinates of 15N-20N, 155W-120W, for the week centered on August 6, 2014, were above the 1971-2000 average. (Those are the base years used by NOAA for the Reynolds OI.v2 data.) But they were not unusually warm as shown by the horizontal red line. They have been warmer quite regularly since the start of the weekly data in January 1990. And it’s blatantly obvious that the sea surface temperatures have cooled there. The cooling rate is -0.3 deg C/decade since 1990, based on the linear trend shown in blue.
Weekly Hawaii Storm Track SSTa
Weekly Iselle and Julio Storm Track SST Anomalies
The monthly satellite-enhanced Reynolds OI.v2 data stretches back as far as November 1981. The July 2014 sea surface temperature anomalies for Iselle and Julio’s storm tracks (shown in red) were not unusually warm, and the sea surface temperatures there have cooled since November 1981 based on the linear trend (shown in blue).
Monthly Hawaii Storm Track SSTa
Monthly Iselle and Julio Storm Track SST Anomalies
HOW FAR BACK CAN WE GO AND STILL SHOW NO WARMING IN THAT PART OF THE EASTERN TROPICAL NORTH PACIFIC?
The next graph shows the NOAA ERSST.v3b-based sea surface temperature anomalies for the coordinates of 15N-20N, 155W-120W, from January 1880 to July 2014. I’ve highlighted the period of January 1930 through July 2014 in brown. Since January 1930, the warming rate of the sea surface temperatures for Iselle and Julio’s storm track is only +0.004 deg C/decade. That’s 4 one-thousandths of a degree C per decade. And as shown by the red horizontal line, the sea surface temperature anomalies back as far as the 1880s were comparable the July 2014 value...if you believe sea surface temperature data back that far.
Long Term Monthly Hawaii Storm Track SSTA
Long-Term Monthly Iselle and Julio Storm Track SST Anomalies
YEAH BUT, YEAH BUT, YEAH BUT
History has shown, if I were to end the post there, then someone would say something to the effect of, Greenhouse gases have increased the amount of moisture in the air, making tropical storms worse than before.
To counter that nonsense, we turn to the NCEP/DOE Reanalysis-2 outputs of Specific Humidity, which represents the amount of moisture in the column of atmosphere. The units are kilogram of water vapor/kilogram of dry air. For Iselle and Julio’s storm tracks, there is nothing unusual high in the specific humidity for July 2014, and the trend since 1979 shows a decrease, not increase, in specific humidity southeast of Hawaii.
Monthly Hawaii Storm Track Specific Humidity
Monthly Iselle and Julio Storm Track Specific Humidity Anomalies
The weekly and monthly Reynolds OI.v2 sea surface temperature data are available through the NOAA NOMADS website here. The long-term monthly NOAA ERSST.v3b sea surface temperature data are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer. And the monthly specific humidity output of the NCEP-DOE Reanalysis-2 is available from the NOAA NOMADS website here.