As I travel across our state and talk to small business owners and farmers about what the federal government can do to help get our economy moving, I hear a familiar refrain: just get the federal government out of the way. While there has been a great focus on the impact government overspending and taxation has on the economy, there has been far less attention focused on the impact of government over-regulation. And as I talk to more and more people in Michigan, I have become convinced that the three most feared letters in the federal alphabet soup of regulatory agencies are no longer IRS, it is now EPA.
It seems that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot regulate enough, and is unconcerned about any potential negative effects on jobs that their regulations would cause. In fact, in recent congressional testimony a high ranking EPA official was asked if the EPA took into consideration the impact on jobs and he said no. When asked why, he simply stated: “because we don’t have to.” In this difficult economy that is simply wrong. The EPA’s regulatory over-reaches are legendary to American farmers. In recent years, the EPA has tried to regulate spilled milk as oil and every mud puddle on a farm as a navigable waterway. Their regulatory over-reaches without fail impose massive new costs on farmers and eliminate countless jobs.
Within Congress, I have been working to reign in the overzealous EPA regulators and their seemingly never-ending over-regulation. My goal is to ensure that our nation’s regulators keep their focus on protecting our environment, but also on protecting much needed jobs and strengthening our economy.
Just this week, I voted to stop the EPA from another out-of-control regulatory over-reach. The EPA wants to double the standard by which our nation regulates farm dust by putting another undue burden on our nation’s farmers. I sometimes wonder if anyone from the EPA has ever visited a farm. Farmers work with the soil in fields where sometimes dust is stirred up. They also work in rural areas on unpaved roads that again cause the creation of dust. Dust is a fact of life in rural America and our farmers have gone to great lengths to conserve soil which helps to prevent undue amounts of dust. What they do not need is another Washington bureaucrat making their job even more difficult and more expensive.
I am proud to have supported and voted for passage in the U.S. House of H.R.1633, the Farm Dust Regulation prevention Act of 2011 which would prohibit the EPA from burdening farmers and small business owners in rural America with additional dust regulations.
We must all now urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly pass this bill and ensure that the EPA doesn’t continue to create more regulatory dust that is choking America’s farmers.
Published: Friday, December 9, 2011 11:16 PM EST