Are Today’s Agriculture Regulations Ripe for Reform? [Opinion]

Scanning ahead to the early days of the Donald Trump Administration, there remain a lot of uncertainties. But one thing is clear — it will definitely be different. How President Trump’s actions shake out for agriculture remains to be seen. His stance on trade and immigration might have the farm sector a little rattled, but regulatory reform could be a bright spot for agriculture.

Growers have felt the regulatory burden for years and insist it has affected their profitability and productivity. Trump has been clear that he is no fan of regulations, even pledging for every new regulation added to the books, two existing regulations must be repealed.

Farm groups are taking Trump at his word and already are lobbying for regulatory relief. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) issued a white paper in December titled “Regulatory Improvement And Reform: A Priority For American Agriculture.” The paper was endorsed by 53 different agricultural organizations.

Near the top of the regulatory relief agenda will be curbing EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. According to the AFBF, the rule should be an easy target because EPA failed to provide transparency and consult with states when crafting the rule as is dictated by the Clean Water Act.

As Paul Schlegel, Director of Environment and Energy Policy for AFBF, noted in a recent column on WOTUS: “Astonishingly, EPA finalized the rule before it had even finalized its scientific study. It used dubious economic calculations, and the Office of Advocacy with the U.S. Small Business Administration even pointed out the agency had violated its obligations to gauge the impact on small businesses. Perhaps most flagrantly, the agency overstepped its bounds with a social media campaign designed to obscure widespread opposition and predetermine the outcome of the proceedings. The agency’s misconduct was so striking that the U.S. Government Accountability Office declared that EPA violated the Antideficiency Act by engaging in unlawful conduct.”

In addition to looking to the Trump Administration for regulatory relief, AFBF is urging Congress to step up and take a greater role by having up or down votes on major regulations like WOTUS. So, when an agency like EPA is sued, which they always are, judges won’t simply defer to the agency’s interpretation of the law or its own regulations.

These so-called “citizen lawsuits” have increased the number and range of policy decisions by the courts. Today, many policies are decided by a handful of judges on appellate courts or even single judges in federal district courts. That’s not very representative of the will of the people.
A hint to where Trump’s head is at when it comes to EPA is his nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the agency. He has been a vocal critic of EPA. The “regulatory class” erupted with howls of disapproval of the nomination.

In a news release announcing the Pruitt nomination, Trump said: “For too long, the EPA has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control, anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn.”

It is nice to see him recognize farmers specifically in the quote. Hopefully, the President appreciates your vital role in the American economy — not to mention feeding us all.

 

Topics: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Are Today’s Agriculture Regulations Ripe for Reform? [Opinion]

  1. Regulatory relief means nothing if I can’t sell my crop because of a trade war. It’s like someone offering to wax my truck as they pour sugar in my gas tank.

Citrus Stories
Sugar Belle oranges
Varieties & Rootstocks
May 18, 2017
Unique Citrus Variety Standing Up to Deadly Disease
University of Florida researchers are peeling back the layers to find out what’s helping specific mandarin hybrid hold serve against HLB. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2017
First California Red Scale Aerosol Mating Disruption Product Approved
EPA, California officials grant Semios approval of pheromone pest control solution for widespread citrus problem. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2017
EPA Seeks States’ Input On Waters of the U.S. Rule
As the agency considers scaling back the water rule, states are asked to define protected waters. Read More
Orie Lee, 2015 Citrus Achievement Award winner
Citrus
May 15, 2017
Florida Citrus Innovator Passes Away at 90
Orie Lee spent half his life cultivating the industry he cared deeply for. Read More
Burn ban sign posted along S.R. A1A in Flagler County, FL, due to drought conditions
Citrus
May 15, 2017
Drought Conditions Deepen Across Central Florida
Water Shortage Warning Order expanded to all counties within St. Johns River Water Management District. Read More
Citrus
May 11, 2017
Late Season Rally in Forecast for Florida Orange Crop
Latest estimate from USDA reveals first increase in several months; grapefruit continues to sour. Read More
Citrus
May 9, 2017
Barn Owls Can be an Effective Control for Rodents and Gophers
The predators are already getting results in vineyards and orchards. Research is showing they’re just as effective in vegetable and fruit fields. Read More
Citrus
May 5, 2017
USDA Angers California Lemon Growers
Industry leaders extremely disappointed by Argentine lemon rule. Read More
inspecting citrus greening leaves
Insect & Disease Update
May 3, 2017
Big Bucks Booster for Citrus Research in Spending Bill
Funding would be used to fight HLB and explore methods for a cure. Read More
Port Of Miami shipyard
Citrus
April 29, 2017
Florida Ag Commissioner Pushes for Probe into Unfair Trade Tactics
With a focus on Mexico, letter sent by Adam Putnam to the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary stresses need for level playing field. Read More
a group of ripe strawberries
Citrus
April 28, 2017
EPA Approves New Plant Growth Stimulant
RIO from Arysta LifeScience North America is labeled for use on citrus, vegetables, tree fruit, strawberries, grapes, and nuts. Read More
citrus psyllid closeup
Citrus
April 27, 2017
The California Citrus Grower Defines Leadership
While HLB wreaked havoc elsewhere, the California citrus industry came together and formed an action plan. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2017
Trump Creates Agricultural Task Force
Panel to examine issues facing today’s growers including labor, food safety, and regulations. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2017
Perdue Sworn in as Ag Secretary
USDA launches Twitter account to help promote the industry. Read More
Judi Whitson, 2016 Florida Woman of the Year in Agriculture
Citrus
April 24, 2017
Who Will Be Florida’s next Woman of the Year in Agriculture?
Nomination period now open for longstanding recognition from FDACS. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
May 20, 2017
Short on Water, Florida Growers Know How…
Through drought, smoke and brush fires, it’s plain to see you farmers have been doing your part to conserve and preserve one of our most precious resources. Read More
Citrus
May 20, 2017
USDA Creates Undersecretary for Trade
Reorganization puts trade, farm production as top priorities for the agency. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2017
First California Red Scale Aerosol Matin…
EPA, California officials grant Semios approval of pheromone pest control solution for widespread citrus problem. Read More
Citrus
May 16, 2017
EPA Seeks States’ Input On Waters of the…
As the agency considers scaling back the water rule, states are asked to define protected waters. Read More
Citrus
May 15, 2017
Florida Citrus Innovator Passes Away at …
Orie Lee spent half his life cultivating the industry he cared deeply for. Read More
Citrus
May 15, 2017
Drought Conditions Deepen Across Central…
Water Shortage Warning Order expanded to all counties within St. Johns River Water Management District. Read More
Citrus
May 11, 2017
Late Season Rally in Forecast for Florid…
Latest estimate from USDA reveals first increase in several months; grapefruit continues to sour. Read More
Citrus
May 9, 2017
Barn Owls Can be an Effective Control fo…
The predators are already getting results in vineyards and orchards. Research is showing they’re just as effective in vegetable and fruit fields. Read More
Citrus
May 5, 2017
USDA Angers California Lemon Growers
Industry leaders extremely disappointed by Argentine lemon rule. Read More
Citrus
April 29, 2017
Florida Ag Commissioner Pushes for Probe…
With a focus on Mexico, letter sent by Adam Putnam to the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary stresses need for level playing field. Read More
Citrus
April 28, 2017
EPA Approves New Plant Growth Stimulant
RIO from Arysta LifeScience North America is labeled for use on citrus, vegetables, tree fruit, strawberries, grapes, and nuts. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2017
The California Citrus Grower Defines Lea…
While HLB wreaked havoc elsewhere, the California citrus industry came together and formed an action plan. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2017
Trump Creates Agricultural Task Force
Panel to examine issues facing today’s growers including labor, food safety, and regulations. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2017
Perdue Sworn in as Ag Secretary
USDA launches Twitter account to help promote the industry. Read More
Citrus
April 24, 2017
Who Will Be Florida’s next Woman of the …
Nomination period now open for longstanding recognition from FDACS. Read More
Citrus
April 23, 2017
Bio Huma Netics, Inc., and Mesa Verde Re…
Strategic alliance between the two companies is designed to offer customers greater access to products. Read More
Citrus
April 21, 2017
Alliance Stepping Up Efforts to Protect …
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance has kicked off its efforts to communicate to Congress its priority needs for the Read More
Citrus
April 20, 2017
Farm Labor Is in Crisis
To have a great crop potentially rot in the field because workers can’t be sourced is probably worse than a weather event taking out production. Read More