American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, in testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today, recounted a long list of regulatory abuses and missteps by the federal government. Drawing on his two years as president of the nation’s largest farming organization, Duvall called for bipartisan cooperation in reducing overregulation, which has been a target of administrations from both sides of the aisle.
Duvall singled out the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedure Act as laws that are ripe for reform.
“I have met farmers and ranchers who are not sure if they should encourage their children to remain on the farm,” Duvall told committee members. “This is not a partisan issue. This is about allowing our farmers and businesses to be productive. It’s about a goal that I believe we all share: a regulatory process that is credible—one that we can get behind instead of having to fight against.”
Duvall provided specific examples of how regulations are felt at the farm and ranch level, including:
“A West Virginia poultry farmer who operates one of the cleanest farms anyone has ever seen faced tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills to defend her farm in court against EPA misinterpretation of the Clean Water Act.”
And, “federal officials, without any authority from Congress and without public notice, have used what amounts to extortion against ranchers in Utah to force them to hand over their private water rights as a condition for getting federal grazing permits.”