Does EPA know they won the big one?

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.

Gene Hall

Public Relations Director
Texas Farm Bureau
I believe that the only hope for a food secure world is capitalism and reasonable profits for America’s farm and ranch families–that the first element of sustainability is economic survival.
Follow Gene on Twitter and Facebook.

14 Responses to “Does EPA know they won the big one?”

  1. “EPA — please, you won the big one. Maybe it’s time to stop fighting.”

    Pleading with a faceless, cold bureaucracy drunk on power is useless Mr Hall, although otherwise this was a nice piece of thinking.

    Mark Lynus (British author on environmental issues) and Patric Moore (Greenpeace founder) have now admitted their environmental crusades were mainly a vehicle for using poor patsie’s donations to support themselves in a certain lofty lifestyle. Having a bevy of panting sycophants breathlessly waiting for your next brilliant utterance is understandably addicting.

    Although almost no one is aware, they have both individually recanted. They often speak out on the benefits of GMOs, and the fact that “Climate Change” is normal solar system activity. Not surprisingly, they can’t find an audience to listen to their new more optimistic outlook. Sadly gloom and doom, sky-is-falling sells – just like a horror movie at Halloween.

    People who have turned away from traditional religion need something to cling to and those two gents provided a light for them to seek. Most disturbingly for us ag folks is that their converts are laced throughout U.S. government agencies as tenured, unelected bureaucrats, each in possession of a tiny bit of power. Zealots have a way of committing their lives and fortunes to further the cause they believe in.

    Thus, EPA’s inability to stop the destruction wrought by their own runaway locomotive stoked with a full head of steam, should be no surprise. The ship of government requires an ocean and a half a lifetime to turn around.

    No incoming POTUS or Congress will ever have the intestinal fortitude to kill the agency. The resultant unemployment crisis alone would rock Washington DC to the bedrock. And Republicans have no better record than Democrats on truly shrinking government.

    VP Gore gave a speech over a decade ago, in which he extolled the virtues of returning America’s heartland to its native state, a vast National Park, a “Buffalo Commons”.

    He professed that our food industry is destined to move to South America and other exotic third world locales where monopoly restrictions, business ethics, cheap land, slave-rate labor and overbearing government regulation are not issues. With a little research one can find evidence that the vision he articulated is quietly underway.

    “Houston, we have a problem.”

    Mercy, I am such an ignorant, I don’t even know whom Dallas is playing this weekend…

  2. Gene Hall says:

    I’m not above pleading if I thought it would help, but I’m not doing that here. I’m just pointing out the danger of regulatory overkill. I don’t want EPA to go away. They’ve done a lot of good, though not lately. I just want them to regulate as though they understood too much of it is dangerous. This is about the WOTUS rule.Let’s not get too far off topic.

    • Boldness, Mr Hall! Boldness is required.

      One cannot negotiate with the devil hellbent on your destruction. As you opined, EPA’s mission is largely accomplished.

      Shuttering their doors is the only way to clean out the festering, bureaucratic structure that waits patiently, somewhat dormant during conservative administrations, preparing stealthy to go rogue during liberal ones.

      A new, less loosely defined, less independent agency, answerable to the House of Representatives with state oversight, might not be so inclined to fall into the hands of frothing-at-the-mouth, politically partisan, blatant law breakers.

      Former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson needed a stealth email identity (Richard Windsor) for what?

      Congress allowed her to slink out the back door, no questions asked. You can’t allow government agencies to operate extra-legally, yet expect the rest of American society to respect the rule of law.

  3. Denny Pointer says:


  4. Gene Hall says:

    Well shoot yes, DDP!! As long as we are fantasizing. We’ll have the moon in a solid gold setting. Fill Lake Michigan with cream cheese. Boldy ONWARD!! But if you ever want to help out with political reality…you’ll find me right here trying to figure it out.

    • My, my Mr Hall, do I intimidate you so that you must ridicule and mock my comments as unserious and implausible?

      You mentioned being “mystified”, so my reference to Mr’s Lynus and Moore was offered as evidence of the depth and breadth of EPA toxicity and unlikelihood that your fantasy, i.e.”… I just want them to regulate as if they understood too much of it is dangerous.” is a plausible possibility.

      EPA is not fixable, because their bureaucracy doesn’t follow U.S. statute, or submit to the guidance of politically appointed leadership except when it coincides with their own Leftist goals.

      You lamented that EPA is imposing their agenda in spite of SCOTUS’ repeatedly ruling against their practices. If bureaucrats employed at EPA were politically, ideologically neutral, rule-following drones there might be a chance of salvaging the agency.

      Numerous articles have been written by Dr Gary Baise, “Defending Agriculture”, detailing EPA’s recent methods and practices that totally subvert Congress’ role, effectively putting anti-ag environmental zealots in the drivers seat, thus my reference to EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson. Why did she need a pseudonym email account if not to coordinate with anti-agribusiness environmentalist groups?

      Farm Bureau should be educating their membership on WOTUS’ exponential scope, but ignoring the fact that WOTUS is only the latest and boldest move to date, of a totally putrid, festering ideology focused on complete control of every square inch of American soil, is imprudent.

      We can continue to whine about the status quo, or we can face “political reality” and begin demanding congress stop EPA’s extra-legal overreach.

      If every U.S. farmer informed themselves on EPA’s lawlessness and kept their congressman apprised of their displeasure, perhaps we would eventually make an impression.

      Those of us who keep informed are accustomed to the shock and disbelief our neighbor farmers exhibit when we have occasion to share our knowledge.

      When government operates outside the bounds of common sense, honest, hard working people have difficuly believing it.

  5. DItch the rule – leave our property owned water alone!,lk

  6. Gene Hall says:

    Go get me some Farm Bureau policy passed DDP. Until then, it’s just an Internet argument…and I don’t have time for that right now. I hope your week is a good one.

  7. Delbert and Ruth Trew says:

    Its time to Ditch the Rule-leave our private water alone

  8. Richard Hipsher says:

    Ditch the rule

  9. James Buie Jr says:

    Ditch the rule. EPA you are doing too much now. Leave our water on our private land alone. If you take them over my wife and I will probably have to go out of the cattle business. We don’t have a big herd. You will be putting the little man out of business. We don’t make enough to afford your money grabbing permits.
    Thank You
    James Buie

  10. Roger Verstuyft says:


    Our property rights are at stake.

  11. Bill Wallace says:

    ditch the rule, it is hard enought to receive permits and so furth from state county and city………there is ample water protection now……don’t over regulate

  12. Jay Ledwig says:

    Ditch the rule

    We should be able to build fences, graze & do everyday activities on our own private land without having to get permits!

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