Senator Chuck Grassley has made a formal request to have the EPA administrator and several staff visit a family farm in Iowa. Grassley made a verbal request after learning that the person leading the division writing the indirect land use guidelines has never set foot on an American farm.
"I don't think you can beat the benefits of being outside the beltway, and seeing firsthand the how things are done on a working family farm. This is the real world and I hope they see the reality of how nature fits into a farming operation," Grassley said. "Family farmers make their living off the soil. They are going to take the best care of it."
Grassley said that the EPA staff was responsive to Grassley's initial request and called to indicate that they would like to try and work something out. No date has been set at this time.
Grassley hopes to focus on indirect land use as well as other issues before the EPA that are of concern to the agriculture community such as particulate matter regulations, regulation of greenhouse gas emissions of livestock producers, and point source pollution permits for pesticide application.
Here is a copy of Grassley's letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Identical letters also went to Regina McCarthy, the Assistant Administrator of Office of Air and Radiation and Margo Oge, the Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
June 2, 2009
The Honorable Lisa Jackson
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Dear Administrator Jackson:
Last month, I had the opportunity to join President Obama for lunch. During that meeting I raised four issues where Environmental Protection Agency policies are causing tremendous concern for the agricultural industry and family farmers. The issues I raised include the proposed rulemaking for the Renewable Fuels Standard and the indirect land use changes attributed to biofuels, particulate matter regulations, regulation of greenhouse gas emissions of livestock producers, and point source pollution permits for pesticide application.
The EPA's actions on these matters have a significant impact on the rural economy and the agricultural industry. Because of that impact, it's imperative for the agencies regulating the agricultural industry to have a full understanding of it. For that reason, I'm hoping you will accept this invitation to visit a family farm in Iowa to see firsthand the real-world implications of some of your agency's decisions. I would like to personally host you at a working family farm, and I hope your schedule can accommodate a visit to Iowa during the upcoming Independence Day Recess.
Please have your staff contact my staff at 202/224-3744 to arrange such a visit. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to seeing you in Iowa.
Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator