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The Carrot has proved mightier than the Stick

September 27, 2010

 As I’ve stated many times, it’s almost impossible to keep track of all of the challenges we face with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Several of our concerns were voiced last week at a hearing in the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee examing the impact of EPA regulation on agriculture. 

Committee chair Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas read a lengthy statement in which she praised farmers for their conservation efforts and environmental stewardship, suggesting that farmers respond favorably to voluntary incentive-based cost-share programs.

“The carrot has time and time again proved mightier that the stick,” Sen. Lincoln said.

 “At a time when every American feels anxious about his or her own economic future, our farmers, ranchers, and foresters are facing at least ten new regulatory requirements that will drive up their costs and make it more difficult to compete in the global marketplace. These regulations rely on dubious rationales and, as a consequence, will be of questionable benefit to the goal of conservation and environmental protection,” Lincoln said. “Farmers face so many unknowns – the last thing they need is regulatory uncertainty.  Our farmers, ranchers and foresters need clear, straightforward, and predictable rules to live by that are not burdensome, duplicative, costly, unnecessary, or in some cases just plain bizarre.”     

The hearing can be viewed here.

Ranking member Saxby Chambliss questioned whether the multitude of proposed EPA regulation will allow agriculture to remain one of the few profitable and growing segments of the U.S. economy.

Administrator Jackson’s testimony addresses several of EPA’s initiatives that impact production agriculture.

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