WASHINGTON — Subcommittee on the Environment Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) opened today’s hearing by emphasizing how the Biden Administration has put the interests of far-left radical environmental groups over America’s farmers, ranchers, and consumers. In his opening statement, Ranking Member Norman slammed Democrats for not just targeting farmers with burdensome regulations, but also with new tax proposals that would cost farming communities millions of dollars and saddle families with potentially exorbitant bills. He also highlighted how Democrats unnecessarily attack the farming industry for their carbon emissions yet consistently fail to hold China accountable for their uncontrolled pollution. Instead of attacking American farmers’ livelihoods, Ranking Member Norman stressed the importance of supporting the agriculture industry and their innovation efforts to keep prices affordable for American consumers.
Below is Subcommittee Ranking Member Norman’s remarks as prepared:
Thank you, Chairman Khanna. And thank you to the witnesses for their willingness to appear before the subcommittee.
Agribusiness is South Carolina’s number one industry.
From corn and cotton to tobacco and turkey, the farming industry in South Carolina accounts for a quarter of a million jobs and almost $50 billion dollars in annual economic impact.
Farmers and ranchers are the real stewards of the land – not left-wing bureaucrats in Washington.
Since President Biden took office, the agricultural industry has fallen under attack.
Input costs for farmers are surging – from May 2021 to May 2022, these costs increased 15 percent.
The cost of fertilizer alone is 77 percent higher today than it was the same time last year.
Farmers and the American people are facing record high prices for gasoline and diesel. And I can assure you – tractors cannot be plugged into the wall.
Increased input costs are cutting deeply into the farmers’ bottom line – some are not sure if they will break even.
The Biden Administration’s proposed revisions to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule will reignite Obama-era uncertainties – uncertainties that President Trump had resolved to benefit America’s farmers.
The revisions will broaden the definition of what’s a “navigable” federal waterway.
This will lead to a nationwide reevaluation of federal stream and wetland permits – saddling farmers with additional hoops to jump through.
Just last month President Biden’s EPA proposed a new rule that would severely limit the use of Atrazine – one of the most popularly used herbicides by farmers.
Atrazine – which is safe for humans – allows farmers to produce a large yield of crop while keeping prices affordable.
President Biden has again put the interests of far-left environmental groups over farmers, ranchers, and the American consumer.
The Biden Administration has not just targeted farmers with regulations, but also with new tax proposals as well.
President Biden’s proposed legislation, the American Families’ Plan, would cost farmers millions of dollars.
In the event of a death, a farmer’s family could be saddled with an exorbitant tax bill.
When the head of a household dies under President Biden’s reckless taxation and spending plan — they could be forced to sell their farm.
Ironically, President Biden recently called U.S. farmers the “backbone of freedom.” If that’s the case, why do Biden Administration policies continue to harm the livelihoods of farmers?
Democrats want to tell farmers that they need to lower their carbon emissions but they allow China to pollute the environment more and more every day.
We need to let farmers farm – not shoulder them with burdensome regulations and huge tax bills.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to today’s witnesses.