From the press release freshman Rep. Cory Gardner sent out last week:
During an Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing on the “Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011” (H.R. 1633), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) stressed the importance of protecting agriculture from unrestrained dust regulations that are harmful to jobs in rural Colorado.
“While the EPA recently stated it is prepared to abandon revisions [Pols emphasis] to the existing dust regulation standard, we want to make sure they do not revisit the regulations down the road,” Gardner said. “The rules imposed by the EPA on farm dust are stringent enough already. It is important that we don’t do anything to create even more uncertainty for farmers and ranchers. Their livelihood and rural jobs depend on it.”
…H.R. 1633, which Gardner has co-sponsored, provides immediate relief to farmers and rural areas by preventing EPA from imposing stricter dust standards for one year from the date of enactment. The bill, introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), also provides flexibility for states, localities and tribes to regulate “nuisance dust” A background memo and witness list can be found here.
The problem, as the Washington Post reports, is that the “revisions to the existing dust regulation standard” Gardner says the EPA is “prepared to abandon”…never existed.
“Now, here comes my favorite of the crazy regulatory acts. The EPA is now proposing rules to regulate dust,” Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.) said on the House floor. He said Texas was full of dusty roads: “The EPA is now saying you can be fined for driving home every night on your gravel road.”
There was just one flaw in this argument. It was not true.
The EPA’s new dust rule did not exist. It never did.
Still, the specter of this rule has spurred three bills to prevent it , one of which will be voted on Thursday in a House subcommittee. It sparked a late-night battle on the Senate floor. GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain cited it in a debate as a reason to eliminate the EPA…
For Republicans the EPA’s new dust rule was an ideal talking point for this agenda. Even though EPA had – still – not proposed any new EPA dust rule.
…As the year went on, the nonexistent rule also turned up in the Republican presidential race.
“The EPA has gone wild,” Cain said in a GOP debate in September. “The fact that they have a regulation that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012, to regulate dust says that they’ve gone too far.”
Quite the invention, don’t you think? Too bad Gardner is contributing to the misinformation instead of helping clear it up. His choice of words is key, claiming that the EPA has chosen to “abandon revisions” that have never been proposed. That’s where Gardner’s arguable “regulation prevention” of a hypothetical rule change…becomes a load of manure.