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Directing Committees to Review Regulations from Federal Agencies: House of Representatives

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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I thank my colleague from Texas.

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this bill and the examination of the rules and the regulations that create uncertainty and increased costs and disadvantage our businesses, farmers, and ranchers. My wife and I were small business owners for nearly 22 years. I know what it's like to sign the front of a payroll check and to deal with government rules and regulations.

Here is a perfect example of what my farmers and ranchers face in Oregon. These are new rules that are coming out from the Environmental Protection Agency that are relying on what they even termed as a National Marine Fisheries Service document that was less than transparent. This affects new set-asides if you use modern chemicals at all to grow America's food and the world's food. These are new setback provisions that are being required in buffer zones that could, in some cases, be from 100 to 1,000 feet along any body of water, including intermittent streams. Now, if you are from sort of the dry side of Oregon, you have a lot of intermittent streams that only kind of flow with runoff, and they dry up. The practical effect, though, is that you could lose most of your farmland.

This is an example, run through their models, of what this could mean if this rule goes into effect. And you would take from 108 acres, which is the whole area here, and you would begin to reduce down the buffers to where you would be able to farm less than 10 acres. That means that for this farm, you could lose upwards of--this crop yield now would produce $21,000 in income. When the Federal Government's rules are fully implemented as described here, you would be down to $1,500. You can't farm if you lose much of your farm ground and you go from 108 acres down to 10.

This will occur all over the country, all over eastern and western Oregon, and it is an enormous Federal Government land grab that could affect between 40 and 67 percent of farmlands in Oregon. And in this case, it's an 83 percent reduction if taken all the way to the 1,000-foot buffer along these intermittent streams.

Ladies and gentlemen, we need to examine this and many other rules and regulations and look at their practical effect on the ground throughout the countryside, on the men and women who raise our food and produce the jobs in America.

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