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Behold the Obama Administration's new public works plan. Sue cities for polluting waterways and then as part of a settlement require them to spend, er, "invest" billions in extraneous sewer improvements. The White House doesn't even need legislation to pour this money down the drain.

The Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency have taken enforcement actions against 25 cities over the last four years for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act, and there are another 772 on their list. In addition to imposing millions of dollars in penalties, the feds have forced these cities into consent decrees that will cost their local taxpayers $21 billion. The decrees spell out in detail what capital upgrades they must undertake‚ÄĒeverything down to the size of their pipes.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors says the EPA's heavy-handed management can't be justified by the supposed environmental or economic benefits.

Cities are spending twice as much on water treatment as they did in 1995 and have reduced the contaminants they discharge into waterways during dry weather by 85%. Even so, the EPA says they need to spend at least $300 billion more on maintenance and upgrades to meet the agency's ever-stricter standards.

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The EPA, he wrote in "The Environmental Forum" journal this month, is "treating cities as it might have treated Standard Oil early last century." The agency is "imposing billions of dollars of unfunded mandates without a clear scientific and public health basis for doing so."

Perhaps by targeting cities the EPA is merely trying to show that it's an equal opportunity harassing regulator. <b.To adapt one of the President's favorite phrases, everyone deserves a fair shakedown.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044479990457805...



Hey, it's nothing but a Chicago Style mob shakedown brought to you by a community organizer extortionist.........

it will keep his buddies in the construction unions busy.......at taxpayer expense...

and help 'create' those jobs that he has stymied at every step in the private sector.

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MORE GOVERNMENT SPENDING! More government spending! Four more years of run away EPA and government spending!........

NOT!

t.
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