President Donald Trump’s order on Tuesday to rescind and rewrite federal water regulations not only coincides with his conservative agenda but also could cut his costs as an owner of a dozen U.S. golf courses, again raising concerns about conflict of interest in the White House.
The directive to reconsider the 2015 “Waters of the U.S.” rule, which formed part of a larger elaboration of the Clean Water Act, is a win for critics of the Environmental Protection Agency who say it gives the federal government too much power over waterways.
“I would say this is a very high priority to us,” Bob Helland, head lobbyist for the 17,000 member Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, said in an interview. “We are pleased to see that there is an effort to revisit the rule under this executive order.”
The Trump Organization lists 17 golf courses among its properties, including 12 in the U.S. that probably would be subject to the rule. The golf industry, along with numerous business groups, has been trying to kill the rule since before President Barack Obama finalized it in June 2015. It has been under legal challenge and so far hasn’t been put into effect. Once it takes effect, it would raise costs for golf courses.
Trump’s opponents were quick to see his move as driven by his own interests rather than the country’s.
“Trump’s water-rule rollback is great for golf-course owners, but not so much for people who drink water,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. The owners, including Trump, are “probably pleased,” she added, but the “actions hurt the health of Americans and jeopardize the well being of our planet.”
So Bloomberg News Service would have us believe Mr. Trump ran for President of the United States so he could lower his water rates.
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