If Tamara Thies, the chief environmental counsel at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, suggests the Obama administration is going after the livestock industry with crippling EPA regulations concerning dust in the wind.
“In a periodic review of its National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which allow the EPA to regulate certain forms of particulate matter in the air, the EPA determined that it might raise the standard so that only 65-85 µg/m3 of dust would be permitted in the air (as opposed to 150 µg/m3). Violating the proposed new NAAQS standards can result in civil penalties under the Clean Air Act.”
For those not very familiar with how agriculture works, dust is kicked up by corn fields being tilled, by cattle moving from pasture to barn and back, and by pickup trucks driving down dirt roads. Tamara Thies suggests that current regulations are already very difficult to obey; cutting roughly in half the amount of dust that is permitted would likely make it impossible.
Thies suggests that there is a hidden agenda here. “EPA exhibits reckless indifference to scientific fact and, instead, imposes stringent regulations based on nothing more than its biased anti-animal agriculture agenda that will leave many cattle operations with no recourse but to shut down and eliminate jobs.”
There is a strain in modern liberalism that maintains that modern agriculture is not only cruel to livestock, but also produces food that is unhealthy for human beings to consume. Beef, especially, is on the list of things that some on the left would like people not to eat, whether it is a hamburger bought at a fast food eatery or a filet mignon ordered at a five-star restaurant.
Proposed EPA rules, which also includes, “regulating ammonia emissions from cattle operations; nationalizing standards for soil phosphorus levels, which determine where farmers can use manure; regulating greenhouse gas emissions; and greater regulation of farming on the Chesapeake Bay watershed” seem more designed to shut down and strangle livestock production than they are protecting the environment.
The negative impact to agriculture is just the tip of the iceberg of what may happen if the EPA is given free rein. All kinds of meat products would become prohibitively expensive, available for the most part through imports from other countries. All sorts of staples Americans have become fond of, from fried chicken to pork chops, could increase in price and become scarcer.
The issue is likely to become explosive if the EPA proceeds with the new regulations, especially as members of Congress from farm states weigh in. The idea that an arm of the government could attempt to regulate a whole farming sector almost out of existence would have seemed bizarre just a few short years ago. But overreaching government, which seems to be suggesting, “Let them eat tofu,” has become the norm under the Obama administration.
One is tempted to respond that they can take my cheese burger from my cold, dead hand.
Source: Beef Industry: U.S. May Need ‘Strategic Hamburger Reserve’ after Obama EPA Implements New Regulations, Chris Neefus, CNS News, October 7th, 2010