Farmers Fight Back

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On Sunday, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman announced that his group would be filing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday in U.S. District Court in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  The head of the six million member organization told his members that the EPA’s “over-regulation endangers our industry.”  “Our message to the new Congress is clear: It is time to stop the EPA,” said Stallman. “But we don’t intend to leave this to Congress alone. We are prepared to carry this battle to the courts.”

What Stallman is attempting to block is the Chesapeake Bay “pollution diet” announced by EPA on December 29.  Based on the EPA’s determination to regulate greenhouse gases, which political advocates insist are one of the primary causes of global warming, the “diet” is an attempt to impose tighter controls on wastewater runoff from cities and agricultural concerns.  Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia will be required to produce a 25% reduction in nitrogen, a 24% reduction in phosphorus and a 20% reduction in sediment runoff by 2025.  Much of that reduction would be achieved by limiting farm fertilizer runoff and placing controls on large-scale animal feeding operations. The EPA announced that “mandatory controls on agriculture” could be enacted as early as 2013 in in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New York state if reductions in pollution “fall behind schedule.”

According to Stallman, “the diet threatens to starve agriculture out of the entire 64,000 square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed,” and that government regulators “are ready to downsize American agriculture, mothball our productivity and out-source our farms,” adding that EPA’s “over-regulation endangers our industry.”  Cattlemen and farmers contend that complying with these and other new regulations will cost millions of dollars.

Stallman insists that state governments should be in charge of farming regulations, not the EPA.   The Obama administration supports EPA control, claiming there has been a lack of progress by state governments to protect the waterway.  According to the Baltimore Sun, “(U)rban and farm runoff, air pollution and sewage overflows have created areas known as ‘dead zones,’ places where oxygen is sucked from the water by algae blooms that prevent sunlight from reaching underwater marine life. Pollution and disease nearly killed off the bay oyster. The blue crab population has just started to rebound after tighter restrictions on their harvest.”

Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and Charles H. Bronson, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture from 2000 to 2010, both in attendance at the meeting, believe the EPA is engaging in a power grab that threatens the future of production agriculture in the U.S, and warned that the “unchecked” agency will impose enormous costs on far more than the agricultural community, with consumers and taxpayers bearing the burden of those costs as well.  Shaw characterized the EPA as “very creative, making their own rules,” noting that more stringent air pollution regulations in Texas will be placed on “most internal combustion engines used on farms and ranches,” even those as small as 20 horsepower machines.  He added that the new rules demonstrate that the EPA has an “ominous goal” of forcing governments and businesses across the nation to adopt alternative energy sources “regardless of the cost,” noting that agricultural producers will be faced with price spikes in fuel, fertilizer and transportation.  “It is going to raise the cost of everything,” he predicted.

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  • semby

    And this is why, this country is angry. The over-reach of this Administration.

  • http://www.therepublicrevealed.com/ Victor Laslow

    This administration is in dire straights. The people have awakened and since November the only way the progressives can further their agenda is through regulatory agencies under Obama's direction. He has for all tense and purpose circumvented the Congress and taken control of the republic. By his will only and not the people’s America is fundamentally changing. Mark my words as I saw this coming back in July of 2009. http://www.therepublicrevealed.com/forums/index.p… . Obama will control the American food supply if not stopped in the courts and then again in November 2012
    Victor

  • http://www.redneckspot.blogspot.com intlctlrdnck

    While Pelosi and Reid were busy with their thousands-paged destructive bills they were jamming down Americans' throats, the administration was quietly and effectively making the Legislative branch merely window dressing.

  • owyheewine

    The prompt answer is fairly straightforward and simple. The House of Representatives has the power to totally defund EPA. A year or two of Zero dollars will do wonders.

    • sneed5

      owyheewine!! Absolutely! Put the squeeze on them! If the House and Senate don't straighten up we will no longer need them. These agencies have become the tail that wags the dog! Another thing I believe would help. All U.S. Senators will accept e-mails from anywhere in the U.S. All of them won't reply and I can understand that–e-mails would be too numerous. But, they do count the number of e-mails received, and get an idea of the feeling of the public (I don't trust polls.) U.S. Representatives won't accept e-mails from anyone except those from their district, so they don't know the real pulse of the nation. I propose that the Representatives, at least ACCEPT e-mails from around the nation. After all, regardless of their district, their votes affect all of us and they get their pay from all of us!!!

  • USMCSniper

    The government has caused vast spans from Bakersfield to Fresno to sit bone-dry. Brown grass, dead orchards and lifeless grapevine skeletons stretch for miles for lack of water. For every fallow field, there’s a sign that farmers have placed alongside the highway: “No Water = No Food,” “No Water = No Jobs,” “Congress Created Dust Bowl.” Locals say it’s been like this for two years now, as Congress and bureaucrats cite “drought,” “global warming” and “endangered species” to deny water to this $37 billion breadbasket through arbitrary “environmental” quotas. It started with a 2008 federal court order that stopped water flowing from northern tributaries on a supposed need to protect a small fish – the delta smelt – that was getting ground up in the turbines of pump stations that divert the water south. The court knew it was bad law, but Congress refused to exempt the fish from the Endangered Species Act and the diversion didn’t help the fish.

  • kwg1

    These farmers had better be careful> Their subsidies may be at stake for daring to question authority! sarc off!

  • American_Flag

    Soon we will all be working for the gummint…Orwell’s 1984 is just around the next bend.

    Thank you liberal dolts.

  • topperj

    Obama, EPA, Power Grab…just kind of rolls off the tongue easily. Good for these guys. Somebody has to take a stand and draw a line in the sand with these thugs in D.C. (Dictatorial Control).

  • CleanStreams

    The states have had 25 years and over $5 Billion dollars to address water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and have ONLY done a fair job of improving the water quality. There is nothing being asked of the states that they shouldn’t have been doing for the past 25 years. Every farmer should be operating at some base-line level of conservation compliance. Why does the agricultural community think that they have some god-given, constitutional right to pollute the Bay?