Opponents of the Obama administration’s “Waters of the U.S.” overreach notched an important victory yesterday, when the Government Accountability Office concluded that in attempting to drum up public support for the new regulation, the EPA violated both the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act and the Antideficiency Act.

As The New York Times put it, EPA “blitzed social media” to “counter opposition to its water rule, which effectively restricts how land near certain surface waters can be used.” The effort, congressional auditors found, “obligated and expended appropriated funds in violation of statutory prohibitions.”

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, minced no words in his reaction to the revelation: “G.A.O.’s finding confirms what I have long suspected, that E.P.A. will go to extreme lengths and even violate the law to promote its activist environmental agenda.”

New Mexico is one of more than a dozen states suing the feds over the rule. The case’s outcome will have significant repercussions for major industries in the Land of Enchantment, including farming, ranching, mining, and hydrocarbon extraction. In October, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a nationwide stay of WOTUS implementation, ruling that “petitioners have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims.”

Stay tuned.