AGRIBUSINESS: Nebraska Senator Trying To Fence In EPA

Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns has introduced a package of legislation to promote greater transparency and accountability in the EPA’s regulatory process. Johanns says everyone from mayors to public utility providers to farmers and ranchers have expressed concern with EPA’s aggressive agenda and lack of understanding about how the economy works. Johanns says he’s heard countless times that EPA is not transparent or responsive. The package he has introduced includes four individual pieces of legislation aimed at common-sense EPA regulatory reform.

The first bill would close a loophole by bringing EPA guidance documents under the scope of the Congressional Review Act. Only rules are currently covered under this clause – which has allowed EPA to use guidance documents to expand the agency’s regulatory reach without being subjected to Congressional oversight. The second piece of legislation would require EPA’s Inspector General to report to Congress twice a year on the agency’s progress in meeting regulatory reporting requirements in current law.

The third bill in the legislative package introduced by Senator Johanns reduces EPA’s budget by 20-thousand dollars every week until the agency meets its legal deadlines for regulatory agenda-setting. The final component promotes transparency and cooperation with state governments by requiring EPA to provide timely information and technical assistance to states working to comply with EPA mandates.

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