You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Ranchers applaud House vote to rein in EPA, Interior Department
In a big win for ranchers in Texas and across the United States, the U.S. House of Representatives on July 13 passed two bills that will help rein in over-regulation by federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Interior. According to a July 14 Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association press release, both agencies have proposed regulations that would allow the federal government to further regulate private property, a move that will severely harm the Texas ranching industry.
The House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2012 interior and environment appropriations bill. Included in the bill is language that would prevent the EPA from using 2012 funds to advance the regulation of rural dust on private property as well as language to stop attempts from EPA to expand the agency’s authority over private waters through a guidance document.
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers President Joe Parker Jr. said that ranchers have been strongly opposed to these proposed regulations by the EPA because they lack sound science and, in many instances, could subject ranchers to burdensome compliance costs, require them to obtain federal permits, and require them to hire engineers and attorneys to guide them through the permitting process, and defend themselves against unnecessary federal regulation.
Also included in the funding bill was a provision to limit new listings under the Endangered Species Act. There are currently 50 species in Texas waiting to be listed, including the dunes sagebrush lizard.
Parker said that this is a major issue for Texas ranchers because if many of these species are listed, much of the private ranching land within the habitat ranges will be off limits to cattle and brush control, which he said would not only harm the Texas beef industry, but also increase the chances for wildfires.
“Ranchers work to protect the environment, but we can’t continue to do this if our land is controlled by someone else. And that seems to be the goal of the federal government. First our water, then our air, and now our land through unscientific and inconclusive regulatory decisions made by those who believe the federal government should have control over everything we own,” Parker said.
The House also approved HR 2018, a bill that would prevent the EPA from overruling state decisions on water quality. Under the Clean Water Act, states have the responsibility for protecting waterways after the EPA signs off on their plans, but the EPA continues to reverse its decision by proposing burdensome and unscientific regulations that end up hurting the states economically. The cattle raisers along with other industries sent a letter to the entire U.S. House asking them to support HR 2018, outlining the negative effects it would have on the state’s economy.
“EPA continues to push their own agenda by disregarding the rules set out by Congress,” Parker said. “Thankfully, the U.S. House is holding their feet to the fire and working to put an end to regulations based on little more than opinions. We applaud the House and look forward to working with the Senate to make sure these bills remain intact.”
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Beef Cattle Management seminar (August 26, 2015)
Cotton root rot and its symptoms (August 26, 2015)
Feral hogs, water workshop (August 26, 2015)
Get acquainted with 4-H event (August 26, 2015)
Harvey places in top 20 (August 26, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 26, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 26, 2015)
Mobile app for hunting regs (August 26, 2015)
Registration for cattle conference (August 26, 2015)
Survey deadline (August 26, 2015)
Turkey fed to improve Texas grasslands (August 26, 2015)
Wilson County 4-H Council, Booster meetings, Sept. 2 (August 26, 2015)
Anthrax confirmed in equine in Uvalde County (August 19, 2015)
Deer association: Environmental group deceives deer industry, wildlife community (August 19, 2015)
Don’t miss your shot! Apply for drawn hunts (August 19, 2015)
Feral hog management workshop is Sept. 4 (August 19, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 19, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 19, 2015)
Prospects bright for dove season (August 19, 2015)
Saving tomatoes from the Texas heat (August 19, 2015)
Siblings make rodeo memories (August 19, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 19, 2015)
Chagas disease in South Central Texas (August 12, 2015)
Eastern equine encephalitis cases reported in Texas (August 12, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 12, 2015)
Leaf-dropping is common (August 12, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 12, 2015)
New, stronger El Niño may bring another wet winter (August 12, 2015)
Pieniazek elected president of ag education leadership (August 12, 2015)
EPA ‘muddies’ Clean Water Act (August 5, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 5, 2015)
It’s a ‘banner’ summer for Payton! (August 5, 2015)
Lantanas losing luster; mosquitoes a bother (August 5, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 5, 2015)
Meuths receive Bronze Merit Award (August 5, 2015)
Shoot to benefit Don Newbury (August 5, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 5, 2015)
August 2015 Gardening Calendar (August 1, 2015)