Obama’s EPA has declared that the city of Riverton, Wyoming, with over 10,000 people is no longer part of the United States and has given it to the Indians.
In essence, all Americans living in Riverton are no longer living in the United States and are not eligible for state or federal services.
They can also be tossed off the land they bought and paid for since their deeds do not have to be recognized by the Indians.
The Indians have argued for years that they should get full ownership of 1 million more acres of land because it should be part of their reservation.
In 1905, Congress set the boundaries for the Wind River Reservation based on treaties worked out over the course of two decades. The EPA unilaterally declared that the treaty, which set out that the tribes would “surrender, forever and absolutely” the land in question, didn’t really mean what the words plainly say. The government bureaucrats, not necessarily distinguished in constitutional law, came up with a convoluted interpretation that under the Clean Air Act, the tribes and not the state can now dictate environmental policy in the disputed region.
The problem is that Congress decided the borders in legislation passed in 1905.
If this ruling is allowed to stand, the EPA can arbitrarily take land away from its owners and give it to anyone to whom they choose.
The governor of Wyoming, Matt Mead, is threatening to refuse to recognize the EPA’s authority.
“My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law. This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?”
The Wyoming delegation to Congress has sent a letter to the EPA demanding they reverse their decision.
All parties agree the final decision must be made in the federal courts.
It is unclear whether the EPA is considering turning over all 1 million acres the Indians are requesting.
Sen. Leland Christensen argues:
“This is an alarming action when you have a federal agency step in and start to undo congressional acts that has really been our history for 108 years … with the stroke of a pen without talking to the biggest groups impacted, and that would be the city of Riverton and the state of Wyoming.”
The EPA refuses to comment on their decision. Wyoming is still fighting it out in court. The Indians have agreed to keep their hands off the city until the courts reach a final decision. Who is the EPA to give away an American city?