WHILE CORN FARMERS ARE DISCUSSING GRASSROOTS POLICY, CONGRESS IS TIGHTENING THE SCREWS ON EPA

Mar, 03, 2011  |  Today's News

A growing number in Congress are pushing back against excessive EPA regulations on a number of fronts including the regulation of greenhouse gasses. With a sluggish economy, an increased need for agricultural productivity to feed a hungry world and a need to remove the unnecessary burdens on our corn growers, a bipartisan bill is a growing sign both parties recognize the need to free our producers.

This action is part of a growing effort to pressure EPA and USDA to help farmers meet the extraordinary demands on them. Hopefully this legislation will soon reach the president's desk and obtain his signature.

Today, two senior House Democrats are on board for the introduction of legislation to stop the EPA's climate change regulations.

Rep. Nick Rahall's office confirmed that the West Virginia congressman will be an original co-sponsor of the bill, alongside Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.). Rahall, the ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has long been an outspoken opponent of EPA's ability to control greenhouse gases via the Clean Air Act.

“I am dead-set against the EPA’s plowing ahead on its own with new regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions," Rahall said in a statement. "The Congress – the place where the People’s will reigns – is the appropriate body to design a program with such sweeping ramifications.”

Upton and Whitfield have also secured the support of Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson. The Minnesota Democrat told POLITICO on Wednesday that the "EPA needs to be reined in" with its climate agenda.

House GOP aides say that they've limited their search for original co-sponsors to the two top Democrats on key committees, but will look for more backing from across the aisle once the proposal is out.

On their short list will be 11 other Democrats who supported an amendment to the fiscal 2011 spending bill last month to handcuff EPA: Georgia's John Barrow, Oklahoma's Dan Boren, Illinois's Jerry Costello, Indiana's Joe Donnelly, Wisconsin's Ron Kind, Arkansas's Mike Ross, California's Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa and Pennsylvania's Jason Altmire, Mark Critz and Tim Holden.