The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is looking for more than words when it comes to President Obama’s commitment to conduct a regulatory review of his administration’s agencies.

On Jan. 18, 2011, President Obama issued the Executive Order, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, in order to ensure the regulatory system protects public health, welfare, safety and the environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness and job creation. 

Most urgent, according to NCBA Chief Environment Council Tamara Thies, is a thorough review of the “unprecedented” number of regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Thies said “enough is enough” regarding the many regulations pertaining specifically to U.S. agriculture.

On April 4, 2011, NCBA joined with other industry stakeholders to submit two sets of comments for EPA’s consideration as the agency seeks public input on President Obama’s Executive Order.

“Regulation after regulation, EPA has demonstrated a blatant lack of knowledge of the agricultural industry. We are not a smokestack industry. Instead, we are affected by the whims of Mother Nature and biology. Yet, EPA continues to regulate us as if we were smokestacks,” said Thies.

“We hope EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and her staff will take this regulatory review seriously and foster a new beginning for the EPA and agriculture. To continue business as usual would be inappropriate and devastating for rural economies.”

EPA has been transformed into a $10 billion entity with more than 17,000 employees. According to the Congressional Research Service, from January 2009 to June 2010, EPA has finalized 653 rules and proposed 463. That’s more than 1,100 new rules in just 17 months.

Thies said beyond the regulations, it is the way EPA goes about its regulatory process. She said regulations are proposed without a scientific foundation and without a grasp of unintended consequences.

“Regulatory decisions are made by mission-oriented agencies that face few constraints when imposing costs on the economy,” said Thies.

Thies expressed the need for a continuous regulatory review and not a one-time exercise.

Click here for the association comments.

Click here for Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council comments.