• House of Representatives Blocks Mythical Farm Dust Rules

    It's a tough life being a member of Congress. Not only do you have to debate legislation that affects the real world – the payroll tax, the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline, the extension of unemployment benefits — under the current leadership, you also have to worry about invisible pink unicorns, Griffins, and fictional Environmental Protection Agency regulations

    The House on Thursday approved legislation Republicans said was aimed at ensuring the EPA cannot regulate so-called 'farm dust.' The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, H.R. 1633, which would prevent the EPA from issuing any new rule over the next year that regulates coarse particulate matter, or 'nuisance dust,' passed in a 268-150 vote…

    The bill is a reaction to the possibility that the EPA might issue a new rule that affects farmers. Republicans have cited that possibility all year as an example of overreach by the EPA. A statement from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson earlier this year that the agency now has no plans to issue any such rule did not deter Republicans from pushing ahead with the bill, which they said would create certainty that no rule would come out.

    It's true that the EPA has had particulate-dust pollution standards since 1987, even imposing some related regulations under the green-hippie aegis of the Bush administration. But although the Clean Air Act mandates periodic review of these rules, the EPA has sworn that it has no plans to promulgate more dust regulations.

    Still, it's commendable for the House to think outside the box. Just think about all the other fake pressing issues deserving of congressional attention. I believe that for too long Leprechauns have used their shoemaking prowess to undermine the competiteveness of America's domestic textile manufacturing, all the while hoarding the world's gold supply and thereby destabilizing commodities markets.  Now, this might not be literally "true," but passage of the Leprechaun Tariff of 2011 would create the certainty American business requires, so let's get to it.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Agriculture, EPA, House of Representatives

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