Congresswoman Kristi Noem just can’t let the non-issue of dust regulation die.
Today, Noem testified in support of her dust regulation bill (H.R. 1633) in the House Energy and Commerce Committee despite powerful, critical editorials last week from the Yankton Press & Dakotan and Sioux Falls Argus Leader deploring Noem’s singular focus on “imagined problems” rather than real ones.
The editorials and testimony come after months of national stories, news releases and tweets pushed forward by Noem and her office despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already offered “unequivocal assurance” against farm dust regulation and her own co-sponsor in the Senate, Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), has dropped the issue entirely.
“Congresswoman Kristi Noem is trying to create solutions for problems that don’t exist,” says Ben Nesselhuf, Chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party. “She can kick-up an imagined dust storm over this non-issue, but she should focus on real problems like job creation instead of imagined problems like dust regulation.”
EPA Tries to Put to Rest ‘Myth’ of Farm Dust Rules
“The EPA is trying to put to rest what it calls a ‘myth’ that it is going to crack down on farm dust. In letters to two senators last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency won’t expand its current air quality standars to include dust created by agriculture… [Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska)] called the EPA statement a ‘victory,’ saying he would abandon an amendment on the issue he planned to offer to a spending bill this week. ‘The EPA has finally provided what I’ve been looking for all along,’ Johanns said. ‘Unequivocal assurance that it won’t attempt to regulate farm dust.'”
Argus Leader: Noem Pushing Ahead Blindly in Dust-UP with EPA
“The dwindling funding for the Lewis and Clark water project and the fight to maintain our state’s Medicare reimbursements through the Frontier States Provision are but two our legislators are working on. These are real issues. So it’s disappointing to see Rep. Kristi Noem continue her fight against a made-up problem like the potential for farm dust regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency…” [Argus Leader, 10.20.11]
Yankton Press & Dakotan Gives Noem “Thumbs Down”
“THUMBS DOWN to Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), who can’t seem to find her way out of an imagined dust storm. Noem, along with Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), have both pushed legislation that would block changes by the Environmental Protection Agency to current air quality standards to include dust created by agriculture. We’ve been skeptical ever since we began hearing allegations that the EPA was going to crack down on farm dust, and for good reason: It is a myth. The EPA reinforced that fact in a recent letter to two U.S. senators, and even the president of the National Farmers Union said he hopes it “puts to rest the misinformation regarding dust regulation.” However, these latest developments don’t seem to have cleared the dust from Noem’s eyes. She is vowing to continue the push for her legislation. We wish South Dakota’s lone representative would stop trying to stir the fears of farmers and ranchers and instead spend her time fighting real problems rather than imagined ones.” [Yankton Press & Dakotan, 10.20.11]
House Energy and Commerce Committee Hears Dust Regulation Bill
Congresswoman Kristi Noem Testifies in House Energy and Commerce Committee [HECC, 10.25.11]