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Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANKFORD. I may not even use all 2 minutes of that, but I do want to be able to just tell the story a little bit of an Oklahoma farm.

The things that they're up against right now are common to farms all across the Midwest. They're dealing with drought right now. They're dealing with the threat of new dust particulate rules coming down from the EPA. They just fought through a battle to try to be able to have family farms be able to function with their own kids working on their family farms or their grandparents' farms, or their cousin's farm down the road--is that permissible or not--point source pollution rules that are coming down on them. Farm truck distance rules, if they want to drive 151 miles in their farm truck and the new regulations they deal with on it. All these different regulations.

And then imagine the Federal Government contacting them and saying, on top of all those rules and all those threatened rules, now you need to go find a professional engineer to check out your fuel tank, and we want to send a regulator to be able to evaluate it. And we want you to have a whole new set of rules around your tank as well. It assumes family farms and farmers don't take care of their land. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A family farm, and farms all around the country, these are individuals that they farm that land, they take care of that land, that water is very important to them. Many of them live on well water itself, and so a spill into their groundwater is incredibly important to them for their own personal family as well. They're great stewards of the land; that's how they make their living.

In addition to that, they're careful guardians of their storage tank because that tank itself, if it spills, they lose a tremendous amount of money; and the margins on a farm are not very high.

I'd like to stand with my colleagues, as well, to say let's respect the farmer for what they're doing already on their land and not send someone from Washington to come check out their farm and check out their tank and be able to evaluate all those things. Let's allow some trust to the commonsense folks in the country that take care of our food and take care of the land and water every single day.

With that, I'd urge my colleagues to support this.


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