Sam Graves-Ditching WOTUS

September 02, 2022

Dear Friend,

WOTUS. It stands for “waters of the United States.” The acronym is five letters, but if you live and farm in North Missouri, it might as well be a four-letter word. No matter how many times we try to bury that horrible policy, it seems to keep rising from the ashes to infect nearly every acre of Missouri farmland with more onerous regulations.

After President Obama tried to regulate nearly every acre of our land with his WOTUS rule, President Trump finally gave us a sensible solution that protected our water while not infringing on property rights and the needs of agriculture. Unsurprisingly, it took President Biden no time at all to get rid of that rule and go right back to the onerous regulations that President Obama had proposed.

This revived version of WOTUS once again suggests that ponds, ditches, streams, and most any kind of water on our land should fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. It certainly isn’t designed to help the farmer or landowner, and it really doesn’t even protect the land any more than it already is now. It’s designed for one purpose—federal control. It’s just another example of the federal government trying to find ways to tell folks in rural America what they can and can’t do on their private property.

This summer, I held a roundtable in North Missouri with the lead Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, to hear from farmers about the devastating impacts of the proposed new rule. The message we heard was loud and clear—this rule is a sham, and the Biden EPA is trying to jam it through, no questions asked, with very little input from those it impacts.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court is going to take up the case this fall and hopefully kill this thing once and for all. Earlier this year, I led 201 of my colleagues in an amicus brief to the Court, arguing that it’s the states who have the power to regulate our land and water, not the Federal government.

I’ve also called on the Administration to press pause while the Court takes up the case. What’s the rush—unless you’re just that committed to more federal intrusion?

We can protect the environment while ensuring that the folks who feed and clothe the world aren’t regulated out of existence. Biden’s WOTUS rule must not go forward and it’s my hope that the death knell will sound later this year. In the meantime, I’ll keep working to stand in the way of this thing at every turn possible.


Sam Graves

Oldham Monument