Farmers are sounding the alarm over the Biden administration’s green energy agenda and its threat to the agriculture industry.
On Thursday, Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, and Rep. Tracey Mann, R-Kan., slammed the president for ignoring rural America.
“President Biden has absolutely turned his back against the American farmer,” Feenstra said on “America’s Newsroom.”
“[We have] seen this in the State of the Union address where he never mentioned the American farmer once. We also see this in his budget proposal that he created $5 trillion of new taxes on the backs of the American farmer… We’re also seeing this in the regulatory environment with waters in the U.S. to regulate all the farmland in America. We saw this also with his energy policy, the Green New Deal provisions and buying oil from China and Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, instead of buying biofuels from the American farmer in the Midwest.”
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While there have been numerous regulations from President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) focused on achieving green goals, the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) is the latest controversial move having a direct impact on American farmers.
After it was announced, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said it “safeguards our nation’s waters.”
The rule ultimately opens the door for the federal government to regulate wetlands, lakes, ponds, streams and “relatively permanent” waterways, largely mimicking a pre-2015 environmental rule set during the Obama administration which implemented the changes in an effort to curb water pollution. The regulation is a broad interpretation of which water sources require protection under the Clean Water Act.
“The regulation we’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg and the Biden administration continues to be at war with rural America,” Rep. Tracey Mann, R-Kan., said Thursday.
WOTUS was set to be implemented in March, but Judge Daniel Hovland of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a request from a coalition of 24 states and several industry groups to block environmental regulations redefining how water sources are protected.
Hovland said it poses “great” risks to states and ruled that the federal government should wait until the Supreme Court rules on a related case pending before it.
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“We ought to be thanking our ag producers, not punishing them,” Mann said regarding President Biden’s environmental policies and priorities. “This makes no sense.”
Lawmakers are also preparing a highly-anticipated farm bill. The agriculture policy bill is typically passed every five years. Lawmakers have until the end of September to pass new legislation or extend the current law.
“We got to make sure that his farm bill works for rural America,” Mann said. “We got to make sure the farm bill reflects true American values.”
Meanwhile, President Biden is set to meet with top agriculture leaders Thursday to discuss priorities for the legislation.
The GOP lawmakers claim Biden’s emphasis on the green agenda threatens American agriculture and are focused on developing a farm bill that helps farmers.
“Instead of having it overregulated by Waters of the [United States], there’s things that we can do [voluntarily] instead of having the burdensome government putting their thumb on us to mandate all these things,” Feenstra said.
“It’s just been a complete disaster from this president, and we’re hurting as American farmers and rural America,” he added.
Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci and Kristine Parks contributed to this report.
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