Farm Bureau, U.S. Chamber, New Congress Leave EPA with No Friends


With the start of a new congress and with policy action from AFBF and other organizations, the EPA will have few friends over the next few years. Politico reports this morning that the EPA is desperate for friends in the Senate. With a large number of new House members pledging to limit the EPA’s authority on everything from GHG to pesticide regulation, the Senate is the final refuge for an agency attempting to implement environmental policy through executive fiat.

Politico also notes that a “group of Senate Democrats intends to hold weekly meetings to discuss plans to fend off attacks on the EPA, said Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). The meetings will center on ‘protecting the public, to make sure that they don’t do anything to weaken the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act; to make sure that they don’t stop the states from their work in protecting the public from carbon and other pollutants.’”

So far, at least 56 Senators would support measures to limit the EPA’s rulemaking authority under the Clean Air Act. This leaves EPA opponents in the Senate four votes short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster of the oversight legislation.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R- Mich.) is eager to take on the EPA in his committee. He has said that he looks forward to giving the EPA a permanent parking spot at the capitol in order to attend his committee meetings.

In addition, delegates to the 2011 AFBF Annual Meeting approved a resolution calling for more congressional oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory actions.

“EPA’s regulatory reach continues to metastasize at the expense of our ability to produce food, fiber and fuel, and EPA often does not recognize the contributions that farmers and ranchers have made to reduce soil loss and produce more with less land, water, nutrients and other inputs,” said Stallman. “We need more common sense and less negativity toward production agriculture in the enforcement of the nation’s existing environmental statutes.”

AFBF announced on Jan. 10, during the annual meeting, that it was filing a federal lawsuit to halt the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay pollution regulatory plan. AFBF said that the agency overreached by setting up a plan for the entire 64,000 square-mile Chesapeake watershed, usurped state control, relied on faulty data and failed to account for agriculture’s contributions to improving water quality, and provided insufficient information and time for the public to check EPA’s actions.

group of Senate Democrats intends to hold weekly meetings to discuss plans to fend off attacks on the EPA, said Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). The meetings will center on ‘protecting the public, to make sure that they don’t do anything to weaken the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act; to make sure that they don’t stop the states from their work in protecting the public from carbon and other pollutants.’”

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by RICHARD BABCOCK on January 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Mr. Martini, Your views should be expressed as personal views, I think, since I am sure some FB members may not share them. I remember the days without the EPA (you might not be old enough) when our streams and rivers were polluted with pesticides and industrial runoff and discharge, our skies were darkened with pollution smog, vehicles had dismal gas mileage and exhaust, and the public was constantly told nothing could be done or it was just too expensive. Sound familiar?
    I for one do not always agree but am grateful for legislative attention to the state of our environment. As the largest consumer of energy on the planet we must be better stewards of our earth for ourselves and our heirs.
    If you wish to express your political beliefs that is fine just so they are identified as such. If indeed you represent Farm Bureau’s positions then I should be supporting an insurance company more representative of our environmental needs and more supportive of progress in that area. I am conscious of the support of FB for the rural community and am grateful. This is meant as a constructive criticism and I hope it is taken in that light.

    Reply

    • Posted by Shawn Martini on January 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      Richard, thank you for your views. The piece on the EPA is not opinion but news, garnered from several sources that are linked in the text. The EPA really is scrambling for friends on the hill now that the new congress has said they will work to limit the agency’s authority.

      While the EPA did help with the severe pollution we had decades ago, there is a strong case to be made that in the absence of a serious problem, (such as acid rain or burning rivers) the EPA is overstepping its regulatory authority under several pieces of legislation. The most notable law in which they are going beyond congressional intent is the Clean Air Act. They are also abusing their authority under the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

      Colorado Farm Bureau, while recognizing the ultimate need for the agency, supports Congress in its goal to rein in an agency that is out of control. This goal is shared by many other agricultural and small business groups. The EPA’s myriad new regulations specifically and unfairly target even the smallest agricultural producers as well as the average American.

      Again, the EPA has and will serve a purpose, but the onerous regulations currently being pushed by the agency and well chronicled on this website, need to be limited.

      If I can provide any more information for you, please let me know.

      Thanks for reading The Pulse!

      Reply

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