By Gene Hall
There was a time when our environment was in serious trouble. The EPA went to war against big time polluters. You know what? They won.
I know there’s a big time activist industry that benefits financially from constantly selling an environmental disaster. Still, no serious person would deny we’ve made great strides in cleaning up and protecting the environment.
But it’s not acceptable to continue the fight using all the heavy artillery that was needed four decades ago. The big guns of government are now mostly churning out economy sapping, crippling and punitive regulations that no longer make sense.
As modern agriculture uses new technologies to reduce every input required to grow food and fiber, the EPA is gearing up to impose a new Clean Water Act rule that has nothing to do with clean water. It is instead about control. Are we comfortable with federal control of every foot of ground, every mud-hole and every ditch in America? Should farmers be required to permit the most basic of agricultural management practices?
The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that the U.S.’s total cost of compliance with mushrooming regulations reached $1.8 trillion last year. Part of that is paid by farmers and ranchers. Enforcement is already arbitrary and punitive. What will the feds do with this new regulatory weapon?
Congress and the Supreme Court have rejected this regulatory scheme in the past. In the mystifying world of EPA, the answer is to impose it anyway, on authority of unelected federal bureaucrats. EPA—please, you won the big one. Maybe it’s time to stop fighting.
This is wrong. Join me in filing a comment. The deadline is Nov. 14. Do it right here on our Texas Farm Bureau website.