Citing several controversial issues the EPA has taken on, farm-state legislators tore into the agency during a Sept. 23 Senate Agriculture Committee hearing. Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, attempted to parry the blunt, unflattering assessments but the legislators’ unhappiness only seemed to sharpen as the hearing progressed.

“The EPA has become public enemy number one for our farmers and ranchers,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, sounding a common theme. “Over the August break, I met with (a variety of farm groups) and each had issues specific to their industry. But they all had one common concern: the overreach of EPA regulations and the harm they’re doing.

“That comes in lots of areas – greenhouse gas regulations, threats to regulate dust, the ban of atrazine. It just seems ag producers are in the crosshairs of the EPA. In every case, (EPA) actions drive up costs and drive down profits of family farms and ranches.”