Home 5 Ag Stories Role of government may be dialed back

Role of government may be dialed back


Since WWII, government has played an increasingly important role in our lives.

However, there may be a reprieve during the Trump Administration. EPA is promising a narrower agenda.

However, USDA is still without its top executive, and may inadvertently finalize Obama era regulations.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt last week promised a back-to-basics agenda approach while visiting a Pennsylvania coal mine.

Pruitt says the new focus “means returning EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment by engaging with state, local, and tribal partners to create sensible regulations that enhance economic growth.”

In his speech to Pennsylvania miners, Administrator Pruitt explained that the EPA would be partnering with states and tribes to ensure a “thoughtful approach is used to maximize resources to protect America’s air, land and water.”

The agenda reinforces Pruitt’s pledge to refocusing EPA on its intended mission, returning power to the states, and creating an environment where jobs can grow.

As for the USDA if confirmed next Monday, Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue will have little time to oppose organic livestock rules finalized by the Department of Agriculture just a day before President Donald Trump was sworn in.

Politico reports the rules will go into effect May 19th, but Congress has until April 28th to undo the measure, and Congress doesn’t seem likely to take action.

Large organic egg producers want USDA to roll back portions of the Obama-era rule setting animal welfare standards for organic livestock and poultry, but need Perdue in place to do so. Under government rules, to take the rule off the books, Perdue would have to issue a new regulation, a years-long process.

However, he can delay it almost indefinitely, and that’s what egg producers are asking for.

The rules set treatment standards for organic animals produced for meat, dairy and eggs, including controversial provisions for outdoor access for poultry.

Some of the nation’s largest organic egg producers say the outdoor and space requirements for hens would expose them to disease and cost millions to comply with due to the potential need for larger laying houses and pastures.