Farm Groups Welcome Presidential Order

Real reform is what groups hope to see.

Published on: Jan 21, 2011

Key farm groups want to see the proof that President Obama is serious about reducing regulatory burdens on business as Obama calls for in a new Executive Order. The President has ordered a systematic review by agencies of existing rules and an end to red tape that stifles job growth. He's given agencies 120 days to devise a review plan.

Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation says his organization welcomes President Obama's focus on reforming the regulatory process. Stallman says today farmers, ranchers, and countless other business owners face a long list of federal requirements that are eroding their bottom line. They come in the form of regulations, "guidance", and any number of other agency pronouncements, which all too often, are far from transparent and lack full consideration of economic impact, let alone any effort to minimize that impact.

Stallman points to what he calls the most recent and notable example needing regulatory reform: the Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load. According to Stallman, the President's Executive Order notes that the regulatory system should promote economic growth, be based on the best available science, allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas, and use the least burdensome tools for accomplishing its ends. Stallman says EPA failed to analyze or at least failed to publicly disclose the economic impact that would result from its TMDL, even after repeatedly promising to do so.

"If the new executive order is to have any meaning, we expect it will result in the reconsideration of EPA's Chesapeake Bay TMDL," Stallman said. "Otherwise, we have to wonder whether this Executive Order will bring about any real change."

National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President of Legislative Affairs Colin Woodall agrees, saying that the Administration needs to show it's serious about the effort and re-examine the GIPSA competition rule, greenhouse gas rules and the still pending EPA dust rule.

"If this is just an exercise where we look at a lot of existing things and we really don't take the time to look at proposed rules, then we're going to see this as a failure on the Administration's part to actually be serious about regulatory reform," Woodall said. "Regulations that this Administration have put out are having a huge impact on the cattle industry."

Woodall says EPA has so far ignored NCBA's input on key regulations affecting the industry.