House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank D. Lucas joined Speaker John Boehner and Republican leadership in a press conference on jobs bills today. There are currently 25 House-passed jobs bills that are awaiting Senate action. This week, the House will consider two more bills to support job creation: H.R. 10, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, and H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act.
Lucas addressed H.R. 1633, bipartisan legislation that gives farmers and ranchers certainty that they will be exempt from excessive regulation of dust.
Transcript of Lucas' Remarks
"Speaking of certainty, tomorrow the house will take up H.R. 1633, a bill that will provide for a one-year moratorium on the EPA from adding any additional dust regulations on production agriculture and rural America.
"If you want to preserve jobs in this country, giving the people who make jobs happen the ability to work is the key.
"H.R. 1633 is simply saying, Lisa Jackson, you told us as EPA director you will not add additional dust regulations. By statute, we're going to guarantee that you will not add additional dust regulations for the next year.
"You can't plant, you can't harvest, you can't till the fields without a little dust."
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently has the ability to tighten regulatory standards for dust under the Clean Air Act. Should this happen, farmers, ranchers, and rural economies could be devastated. On dry days, production could come to a standstill as farmers and ranchers focus on controlling dust rather than producing food.
Although EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said she does not intend to change the current standards, the EPA retains the authority to do so. A legislative fix is the only way to give farmers and ranchers the confidence they need to invest in the future without worrying about oppressive regulations.