A bill, previously passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is up for floor action this week. The American Farm Bureau Federation has joined a coalition of 121 organization in urging support for the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act, a bipartisan bill that restores the balance between the states and the Environmental Protection Agency in regard to regulating the nation's waters. The group told House leaders in a letter, the bill would reaffirm the decades-old, state-federal relationship set out in the Clean Water Act by addressing the EPA's ongoing regulatory overreach.
The groups say H.R. 2018 has important job creation, economic security and federalism implications, adding that over the years, EPA has repeatedly challenged states' authority and expertise under the Clean Water Act. Further, the groups noted that EPA has asserted its control as the sole arbiter of evolving CWA permitting requirements and standards, jeopardizing more than $220 billion dollars of annual economic activity.
AFBF is also urging members of the Senate to support a bipartisan bill that would continue America's transition to home-grown biofuels. In a letter, AFBF President Bob Stallman called for passage of S. 1185, the Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act, sponsored by Senators John Thune, R-S.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. The bill would end the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit on July 31.
"One-third of the savings resulting from this change would be used toward providing tax credits for cellulosic biofuel production and building blender pumps," Stallman wrote. "Efforts that should result in better security for our nation and lower prices at the pump for consumers. Farm Bureau believes that our nation should be focused on energy independence."
Stallman stressed that clean, renewable, domestic energy will help America achieve long-term economic growth, create a cleaner environment and shield our economy from unreliable foreign energy sources.