Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2011)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today applauded the House Agriculture Committee’s approval of H.R. 872, which would eliminate costly, burdensome and duplicative pesticide regulations that are a result of the case National Cotton Council v. EPA.
The bill was introduced last week by Representatives Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) and Joe Baca (D-Calif.); also joining as original co-sponsors were House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).
“With the Agriculture Committee’s action today, the House has taken an important first step in resolving the looming fiasco created by the Sixth Circuit Court’s ruling in 2009,” said NCFC President Chuck Conner. “It is now critical that the full House and the Senate act on this issue soon, since the court-imposed deadline for implementation of its ruling is just a month away on April 9th.”
Conner also noted that the markup and committee approval of the bill come as the Committee kicks off a series of hearings over the coming weeks to examine the impact of environmental regulations on farmers, ranchers and their co-ops across the country. Tomorrow, the panel will hear from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson, while next week, the Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy & Forestry will hold a hearing to look at proposed nutrient management guidelines for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
“Over the past two years, EPA has been moving forward with a broad range of environmental regulations that threaten to add new costs and new compliance burdens to farms, ranches and cooperatives across rural America,” continued Conner. “While some may indeed have value, congressional oversight will help to ensure that the new rules address real resource concern, have a significant impact on any environmental problem, and promote, rather than destroy, economic growth.”
“I would like to applaud the leadership of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Lucas and other committee members for taking an active role in looking at these issues, and we at NCFC look forward to working with them over the coming week,” he concluded.
NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.
Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.