Ooooo! Kristi's so excited!
Leader Cantor just announced that he plans to bring my bill that protects farmers and ranchers from burdensome new dust regulations to the floor this year. As I've said before, we're dealing with the most anti-farmer, anti-small business EPA in our history. We must stop the regulatory overreach [Rep. Kristi Noem, post to Facebook campaign page, 2011.08.29].
Majority Leader Eric Cantor has indeed included Noem's bill on the agenda, but he doesn't feel the need to get around to it until winter.
One of the more curious items on [Cantor's] agenda is a pre-emptive assault on a threat that does not exist. This is a bill offered by Kristi Noem, a Republican from South Dakota, that would prevent the government from regulating dust from agricultural operations. Lisa Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, has said she has no plans to regulate farm dust, which is largely a state matter [Robert B. Semple, Jr., Francis X. Clines, and Carol Giacomo, "New Dramas on the Hill (and a Few Reruns)," New York Times, 2011.09.03].
Never mind that there's more threat of cancer from gravel road dust than there is of EPA regulating dust. Never mind that her dusty hue and cry are as bogus as her noise over imaginary federal farmer drivers license regulations.
And never mind that Kristi and Eric's agenda will kill jobs, not save them:
Mr. Cantor insists that environmental rules cost jobs, but the opposite is true. In the four decades since the passage of the 1970 Clean Air Act, the economy has continued to grow while most major pollutants have been cut by half or more. Meanwhile, the rules have saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars in medical costs. There is no reason to believe that Mr. Cantor's agenda would save any jobs — though it will certainly hurt public health [Semple, Clines, and Giacomo, 2011.09.03].
Never mind that Kristi's bill will do more harm and no good. Her bogus bill gives her the chance to shout "Regulations bad!" after which point her brain shuts off. Her handlers hope our brains will shut off as well. Her handlers hope that scapegoating the EPA and government in general will distract us from Noem's refusal to take real action to rebuild our economy, action like protecting worker rights, expanding health care coverage, building infrastructure, and fighting income inequality.
Once again, Noem offers government by slogans rather than thoughtful, practical solutions. Don't let her kick dust in your eyes.
* * *