SALINAS, CA- The Environmental Protection Agency is “engaging in a disturbing ‘sue and settle’ strategy” according to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. who held an oversight forum today in Salinas, California assessing the impact EPA actions have had on farmers and growers in his home state.
“Our witnesses offered a powerful rebuke of the agency for their lack of outreach to the regulated community – which has resulted in significant regulatory threats to farmers and growers,” said Issa who held the forum in his capacity as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been investigating regulatory impediments to job creation in various sectors since December.
“Sue and settle,” a term coined by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Colin Peterson, refers to the EPA’s decisions to settle lawsuits from environmentalist organizations, by-passing the proper rulemaking channels and basic transparency and accountability standards under the guise of a “court-order.”
Of particular concern to Tom Nassif, the President of the Western Growers Association and a witness at today’s forum, are Endangered Species Act lawsuits. Describing one suit as “the mother of all lawsuits,” Nassif said “this case could cause severe economic harm and loss of jobs to tens of thousands of farmers, and cripple their ability to grow America’s source of food and fiber on more than 112 million acres of farmland across the country, not just in California.”
Since February, Issa has been soliciting input from job creators through a website, www.AmericanJobCreators.com, and through a series of hearings on regulations.
• Tom Nassif, President & CEO, Western Growers Association
• Jim Bogart, President, Growers-Shippers Association of Central California
• Richard Smith, Owner, Paraiso Vineyards
• Mike Jarrard, President & CEO, Mann Packing Co.
• Norm Groot, Executive Director, Monterey Farm Bureau
• Mark Murai, President, California Strawberry Commission & 3rd Generation Grower