EXCLUSIVE– Rep. Kevin Cramer on EPA’s Attempted Waterway Grab: ‘Private Property Rights Are What’s at Stake’

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) reacted to a recent injunction that blocked a new regulation that would have granted the federal government jurisdiction over some waterways across the United States.

“I wasn’t surprised by the injunction even though other courts were sort of failing to see the logic of states’ cases in other filings,” Cramer exclusively told Breitbart News.

On Friday, North Dakota’s U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson ordered a temporary injunction against the Obama administration’s rule, which would grant the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the Army Corps of Engineers, authority over some streams, tributaries, and wetlands as part of a regulation under the Clean Water Act.

“The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely,” Erickson stated in his order halting the regulation from taking effect.

North Dakota led thirteen states in a lawsuit arguing the new EPA regulation would infringe on states’ rights.

Rep. Kevin Cramer told Breitbart News that Judge Erickson’s order “captured exactly the arguments that I would make—certainly the ones my state and other states made.”

“The biggest thing is that Judge Erickson recognized the jurisdictional question,” Cramer said, adding that other courts took the easy way out by claiming they didn’t have jurisdiction and passed the cases on to the appellate courts.

Cramer explained that the injunction is encouraging for two reasons.

He first explained that the temporary injunction is the “first battle in a long war, which is encouraging because it spares a lot of people the loss of jobs.”

Secondly, “he addresses the merits of the fundamental case—that is the overreach of the government of this rule in the first place,” Cramer said of Judge Erickson’s order.

Cramer said, in his view, the court order captures the “obvious overreach” by the federal government “contrary to the congressional authority” granted to it.

“Private property rights are what’s at stake.” Cramer explained, “Protection of private property rights” and the “rights of states” under the 10th amendment.

“To middle America—which I call common sense America—this just challenges the sensibilities that we just grew up with in this part of the country,” he told Breitbart News. “Now, those same standards are relevant to every place in the country, it’s just that not every place in the country has preserved those principles.”

“State officials in North Dakota said the new rule will cost the state millions of dollars and take away from more important programs. State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said there’s “confusion and anxiety” among farmers and other landowners over the initiative,” reported Fox News.


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