Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
In Case You Missed It: Lucas Debates H.R. 910 on House Floor
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
Chairman Frank Lucas spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. The bill, which he cosponsored, would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The House is expected to vote on the bill today.
During the speech, Chairman Lucas states the following:
"This bill would prevent the EPA from running wild across American farms and subjecting our producers to more burdensome regulations that threaten to put them out of business.
"Rural America never stopped being a good place to live, so it’s our job to make sure it’s a good place to make a living, too."
To watch the complete video of Rep. Lucas's floor speech click here.
The text of the speech is below.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 910.
For more than two years we have watched Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency try to expand its authority over American agriculture. Most telling of the EPA’s irrational regulatory approach is how it has concluded that the breath we exhale and the gas that livestock expels are dangerous pollutants and should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
During a recent Agriculture Committee hearing, the EPA Administrator said agriculture is currently exempt from proposed regulations because EPA has targeted only the largest greenhouse gas emitters. But this doesn’t provide any certainty to our farmers and ranchers.
Especially since in a recent interview Lisa Jackson was quoted as saying that the EPA will begin looking at regulating greenhouse gases from farms as soon as 2013, which counters her own remarks at the hearing.
Additionally, a mythical exemption doesn’t insulate farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses from the higher energy and operating costs they’ll face from other industries hit by these regulations. Whether it’s the fuel in the tractor, the fertilizer for the crops or the delivery of food to the grocery store this backdoor energy tax will increase the cost of doing business in rural America.
I urge my colleagues to join us in passing H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act and protect agriculture from EPA overreach.
This bill would prevent the EPA from running wild across American farms and subjecting our producers to more burdensome regulations that threaten to put them out of business.
Rural America never stopped being a good place to live, so it’s our job to make sure it’s a good place to make a living, too.