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Public Statements

Environmental Protection Agency's Agricultural Policies

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. POMPEO. Mr. Speaker, last night this body passed a piece of legislation that takes a first good step toward fixing America's spending problem, toward taking on our spending addiction and addressing the enormous deficits and debt that our Nation faces.

But we all know there's a second component to making sure that we solve this deficit and debt crisis, and that's economic growth. It's jobs. It's allowing the American entrepreneur, the American consumer to have affordable products, and in the case of Kansas, the American farmer and agriculture producer to survive, to continue to do the things that they need to do to feed the world.

I've been in Congress just 6 months now, and I've watched this administration's Environmental Protection Agency act with respect to our agriculture community with radical indifference or, worse, outright hostility. These are folks who are providing affordable food for our entire world, and yet this administration--this administration--seeks to regulate it. It seeks to harass it. It seeks to impose burdens which will cause this great source of wealth for our Nation to leave. I want to talk about that because it's so important for the growth of our Nation and the success of our Nation to continue to have that industry thrive, and I want to talk about some of the things I've seen in just these 6 months.

The American farmer needs energy. The American farmer needs affordable energy. In this morning's Wichita Eagle, our primary utility in western Kansas and south central Kansas said that the utility rules that this administration is about to impose will put them in a place where they cannot comply. Now, I'm not talking about increased costs. We know that this administration has driven higher electricity rates. We're talking about a utility that will not be able to comply with a set of regulations this administration is putting in place. That's not good for the agriculture community in Kansas. They rely on affordable energy.

The examples go on. This administration, under the Clean Air Act, has attempted to regulate dust. Now, I don't know about folks that live out further this way, but in Kansas, on a dry day like today when it's 110 degrees, there's a little bit of dust when you drive your truck down the road. Yet they want to say, no, that's a regulated particulate matter. Where's the common sense?

Today they're changing the clean air rules to take a set of chemicals that are already regulated under a set of regulations that have been in existence for decades and saying, no, we want to add another layer. We want you to now have to be permitted to have these chemicals that have already been demonstrated to be safe in their use in agricultural production.

We've seen what they've tried to do with greenhouse gas regulation as well. We saw this body respond by not giving the President cap-and-trade, and I'm thankful for that. But we've now get the Environmental Protection Agency that's trying to do the same through regulatory fiat. And now the Department of Transportation is chiming in as well, trying to regulate trucks, farm equipment under rules that are normally intended for cross country truckers and trying to regulate them in the same way, putting an additional burden on the agricultural community that has been operating their farm equipment in south central Kansas in an incredibly safe way for decades.

I hope that this administration will reconsider. We cannot continue to drive costs. We cannot continue to regulate the Kansas agricultural community. We cannot harass it into its leaving our country. We know this is important. If we drive up the cost of food, we'll drive up inflation. That's good for no one.

I hope this administration will reconsider, that they'll use some common sense. Our farmers, our agriculture producers want clean air. They make it happen. They need clean water. They ensure that it happens every day. We do not need this administration to harass them into leaving the very profession that is so important to our country.

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