House Ag Committee Chair Mike Conaway Calls Thursday Hearing with Gina McCarthy Evidence of EPA's "Government Knows Best" AttitudeFri, 12 Feb 2016 05:45:49 CST
The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing Thursday to consider the impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) actions on the rural economy. Members questioned EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, on the agency’s overreaching, burdensome regulations and policies such as the “waters of the United States” rule, proposed changes to the ozone standard and pesticide uses, and many more.
The Chairman of the Committee, Texas Congressman Mike Conaway said in response to the day's hearing that “America’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters are the original conservationists who take great pride in their stewardship of the land. The EPA has chosen to disregard producer-driven, voluntary conservation efforts, and instead put in place several regulatory policies that ignore sound science and stakeholder concerns. These actions threaten our ability to produce food and fiber for the world in an economically feasible manner. Rural America deserves a government that will work to make sure it has a thriving future, but time and time again we have seen this Administration display the arrogant ‘government knows best’ attitude and now we are left with farmers and rancher who no longer trust in the regulatory system. The EPA needs to stop implementing bad policies that diminish the integrity and transparency of the rulemaking process.
"Producers derive their livelihood from the land creating a natural incentive to adopt practices that enhance long-term viability of its resources. We must continue to advocate for our voluntary conservation practices that farmers and ranchers are participating in, but continually go unnoticed.
“I appreciate Administrator McCarthy for coming before the committee today to answer our questions and I hope the committee and EPA can move forward with a more productive and cooperative relationship. But even more, I am glad we were able to shed light on the valuable and important efforts our farmers, ranchers, and foresters are putting forth to protect our environment and natural resources."
While WOTUS, the Clean Water Rule, was the focus of much of the conversation with the EPA Administrator, Lawmakers also brought up the Clean Power Plan- the regulation that the Supreme Court this week froze while litigation over the rule plays out. Pennsylvania Republican Glenn Thompson joined other committee members in accusing McCarthy of ignoring EPA”s regulatory impact on farmers, citing recently imposed watershed discharge rules for the Chesapeake Bay, also on appeal to the Supreme Court.
McCarthy also had to defend the agency's handling of the biofuel mandate, the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the Administrator's Opening Statement and her Q&A with the Chairman of the Committee, Mike Conaway.
The written opening statement from McCarthy is available here and you can also view the archived video of the hearing by clicking or tapping here.
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