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Noem’s Snow-Job EPA Dust Bill on Agenda for Winter

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.

Not added yet to Kristi's little media scrapbook: this note from the New York Times saying her dust kerfuffle is much ado about nothing:

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.

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Update 13:15 MDT: Unfortunately, even President Obama is falling for some of the corporate-GOP anti-regulatory smokescreen.


  1. Michael Black 2011.09.05

    I had heard about the proposed regs. It was under serious consideration by the EPA.

  2. mike 2011.09.05

    It's like everything in life. To much regualation is bad and too much pollution is bad. Let's find the realistic ground.

    Also Cory in the Argus yesterday I noticed a big story on Rounds taking a position that interacts with the PUC but the Argus totally ignored Noem's involvement for crop insurance subsidies and her husbands private business.

    Is the Argus really that blind?

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.09.05

    No, it wasn't, M. Black. Show me someone other than Kristi Noem or a Tea Party advocate who says it was.

  4. Michael Black 2011.09.05

    The Clean Air Act rules must be updated every 5 years. The whole argument is over "coarse particulates". There has only been a draft of a memo so far. The new rules were supposed to be announced this October. Last summer, many stories ran about the fear of the EPA regulating farm activities as they would other industries. The American Cancer Society is cited in the stories for supporting tighter dust regs. It appears that now the EPA will not make it's mandated deadline and that the dust will still be in the wind.

    A year ago this was serious stuff. Not so much now to be worried about.

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