Hoeven: EPA Must Support Modern Agriculture, Not Burden Family Farms

Senator Hosts EPA Administrator at Agriculture Roundtable, Presses Pruitt to Work with States to Reduce Costs for Small Operators

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today led an agriculture roundtable with Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Hoeven organized today’s meeting, which was held at Bateman Farm near Grand Forks, with agriculture producers and commodity groups from around the state to ensure Pruitt has a firsthand understanding of the modern costs of agriculture and the need for regulatory relief.

Hoeven has been working with the administration and his colleagues in Congress to advance a pro-growth regulatory environment for farmers and ranchers. The senator stressed the need to make federal rules more cost-effective, which provides better profit margins for ag producers and helps them get through difficult times like low commodity prices and natural disasters.

“Our ag producers already face high input costs and unpredictable weather each year,” Hoeven said. “Family farms cannot bear the cost of federal overreach. They need certainty from federal regulations that they can practice modern, safe farming techniques without one-size-fits-all rules working against them. We’ve advanced efforts in the current Congress to provide regulatory relief for our ag producers, and I appreciate Administrator Pruitt’s commitment to working with us on that front.”

Hoeven continues his efforts to reduce the regulatory burden for agriculture producers, including:

  • Stopping the Waters of the U.S. Rule – Hoeven worked through the Appropriations Committee to defund the regulation in 2016 and 2017. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently issued a proposal to restore the regulations that were in place prior to WOTUS, which was issued in 2015. This is the first of two steps established by the executive order signed by the president in February.
  • Ensuring Availability of Fuel Blends – Hoeven is working through the Appropriations Committee to ensure safe, low-volatility biofuels can be sold year round. To this same end, he has cosponsored the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act.
  • Rescinding the Bureau of Land Management’s “Planning 2.0” – Hoeven cosponsored and helped pass a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal the rule. This maintained multiple-use requirements for federal lands, including grazing.