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Documenting EPA’s overreach: Pardon our Dust

February 12, 2011

Congressman John Shimkus took advantage of Wednesday’s lengthy Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing to illustrate three major points.

Rep. John Shimkus took this photo last fall near his home to illustrate that the dust kicked up during soybean harvest is chaff and efforts to regulate it represent an "EPA gone awry."

First, he showed that EPA regulations will cost energy industry jobs and that passage of the Clean Air Act marked the beginning of a surge of imported oil. 

He shined a light on the hypocracy of members of BICEP –Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy — for supporting EPA greenhouse gas regulations and cap and trade while managing overseas manufacturing operations in countries with low wages and lax environmental standards like China.

In his last statement, Rep. Shimkus referenced a photo he’d taken on his cellphone near his home in Collinsville of a combine cutting soybeans kicking up dust.   In his questioning of Illinois Farm Bureau president Philip Nelson, Shimkus made a point he had been wanting to make since combines were rolling in his district last October.

For how the proposed EPA crackdown on dust is threatening agriculture in the dusty southwest, read attorney Gary Baise’s November 8, 2010 column in Farm Futures.

EPA, in its never ending effort to control agriculture, demonstrates what it can do to agriculture in a proposed rule issued on September 9, 2010, with the innocuous sounding title of “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans – Maricopa County (Phoenix) PM-10 Nonattainment Area”. This is 80 pages of federal regulatory intrusion. — Gary Baise

According to Baise, the EPA’s proposed Arizona rules would require farm machinery to be modified with “spray bars” so farmers can keep down dust as well as require trained on-site dust control coordinators.

Holy smoke.

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