Grassley works to try to educate the EPA about agriculture, rural America Print
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 09:04

WASHINGTON – Senator Grassley weighed in this week with the President’s nominee to serve as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

A Senate hearing to consider the nomination of Gina McCarthy is set for Thursday morning in the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

“From EPA attempts to regulate farm dust and spilled milk and conduct aerial surveillance of farming operations, Iowans are concerned about how the EPA operates,” Grassley said.

In a meeting by telephone with McCarthy, Grassley said he raised these issues as well as concern about the EPA’s release of names, addresses and possibly other personal information about livestock producers to political activists who requested the information.  “Livestock producers are understandably concerned that the sort of information provided could be used to harass or possibly vandalize their operations,” Grassley said.

Grassley said he also raised concerns directly with McCarthy about the impact of EPA regulations on electricity costs and manufacturing, including the EPA’s efforts to undermine coal-fired electricity.  Rural electric cooperatives (RECs) receive 80 percent of their power from coal, well above the national average of 50 percent.  According to the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, RECs provide electricity to consumers in every one of the state’s 99 counties.

McCarthy visited Iowa in 2009 with Grassley at his request after Grassley learned that the EPA official, Margo Oge, who was writing guidelines for indirect land use had never set foot on an American farm.  At the time, proposed rules from the EPA relied on incomplete science and inaccurate assumptions to penalize biofuels for indirect land-use changes.  Grassley said he appreciated McCarthy and Oge making the trip.  McCarthy was Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation at that time.

“The issues I continue to raise with the EPA deserve attention,” Grassley said.  “Common sense seems to be in short supply at this federal agency when it comes to its handling of issues in agriculture and the rural economy.”

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