A recent meeting of the House Agriculture Committee criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for restricting economic and agricultural growth and development. The Committee, headed by Frank Lucas (R, Oklahoma) claimed the agency was overzealous in its applications of environmental protections, often to the detriment of state business and economies.
Other legislators accused the EPA of usurping power from Congress and dictating its own regulatory policy through lawsuits and so-called judicial activism. Congressman Dennis Cardoza accused the EPA of implementing “agency activism” and claimed that it was the most unpopular government agency in the nation. Cardoza also claimed that the EPA burdens farmers with unnecessary regulatory burdens and advocated a reduction of the agency’s powers and authority.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson fought back, citing several commonly believed myths about the EPA, including that they support a “no-spray policy” with regards to pesticide dispersal, and that they seek to impose a “cow tax” which would regulate emissions from cows. Jackson claimed that these myths prevent the EPA from performing a necessary role in protecting the environment for American citizens.
She also stated that she understands the difficulties faced by many American farmers. In addition, she claimed the EPA relies on the latest scientific studies to make regulatory decisions and this transparency should shield the agency form accusations of bias or misrepresentation.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer