Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Time to hold EPA accountable

Over the past two and a half years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grown increasingly intrusive when it comes to regulating agriculture and businesses. Making EPA's regulations all the more frustrating is its recent barnstorming charm offensive throughout the Midwest. EPA officials have been touring rural America, maybe even stopping in a town near you, in an effort to convince farmers and ranchers that the agency's aggressive regulations won't negatively impact producers. They are telling you the Obama Administration is not "doing anything new" when it comes to new rules, especially agricultural regulations. It's baffling and disingenuous that they'd tell this to farmers and ranchers while simultaneously telling Congress they won't blink an eye if their regulations put farmers or other job creators out of business. The double talk at EPA goes all the way to the top. Administrator Lisa Jackson recently stated that EPA plans to meet farmers and ranchers and take their thoughts into account before enacting new proposals. Yet in a letter to 33 concerned U.S. Senators, Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote that when EPA drafts proposals regarding air quality standards, it is "not focused on any specific category of sources or any activity, including activities relating to agriculture or rural roads." She left no room for confusion by adding, "the agency is prohibited from considering costs." In other words, the costs to American agriculture and businesses have no bearing on EPA's pursuit of its regulatory regime, and despite their best public relations campaign, agriculture will not be exempted...more

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