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  • President Obama's Regulatory Dust-Up

    President Barack Obama gestures as he steps aboard Air Force One in Peoria August 17, 2011.

    President Barack Obama gestures as he steps aboard Air Force One in Peoria August 17, 2011. Obama wrapped up a Midwest bus trip through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. REUTERS/Jason Reed

    Rock Katschnig, a corn and soybean farmer in Prophetstown, Illinois, spoke for millions of business owners this week when making a polite appeal to President Obama: “Please don’t challenge us with more rules and regulations from Washington, D.C., that hinder us.”

    The scene: A “town hall” forum on the third and final day of the President’s “Get on the Bus” tour of the rural Midwest. Following his 17-minute lecture on the evils of politics (!), as well as the urgent need for “shared sacrifice” (i.e., higher taxes), Obama invited questions from the “folks” in the audience.

    First up was Katschnig. The President responded to the farmer’s request by inquiring whether there is a particular rule he is worried about. To which Katschnig replied: “We hear what’s coming down about noise pollution, dust pollution, water runoff. Sometimes the best approach is just common sense, and we are already using that.”

    Obama responded: “Here’s what I’d suggest is, the—if you hear something is happening, but it hasn’t happened, don’t always believe what you hear.” The President went on to suggest that any farmer with a regulatory concern ought to simply “contact USDA,” and “find out what it is that you’re concerned about.”

    (In other words, Farmer Katschnig, you don’t know what you’re talking about.)

    Actually, though, it’s the President who is clueless, which certainly surprised Katsching.

    “With all due respect to the President, I don’t believe I was the one who was misinformed,” he said in an interview Friday with the Heritage Foundation. “Coming into farm country, I was surprised he wasn’t more informed.”

    Indeed. The fact is, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seriously contemplating much more stringent requirements to control dust (aka “particulate matter”). A notice in the Federal Register of April 22—Earth Day—announced that the agency has completed its analysis of policy options in the matter—a four-year endeavor. Now, all that remains to be done is for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (and, presumably, the White House) to decide whether to impose yet more costly and unwarranted regulations on farms and the multitude of other businesses already wobbling under the weight of existing federal dictates.

    So radical are the dust regulations that 21 Senators signed a letter to Jackson objecting to the proposed standards as “the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation’s history.”

    “These identified levels will be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain,” the letter states. “Whether it’s livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall, or driving a car down the gravel road, dust is a naturally occurring event.”

    Katschnig is likewise justified in his concern about new regulations governing water runoff. The EPA is in the midst of crafting new rules to control stormwater runoff and is considering suggestions from a variety of groups, including state water system administrators, to increase requirements for farms.

    As for the President’s advice that Katschnig “talk to (USDA) directly,” Politico reporter M.J. Lee attempted to do just that—with dismal results. As he tells it, “I found myself in a bureaucratic equivalent of hot potato — getting bounced from the feds to Illinois state agriculture officials to the state farm bureau.”

    Lee was forced to surrender his quest after 10 different calls yielded no information—and receipt of an email from USDA stating that the dust regulation does not fall within the agency’s jurisdiction.

    It would be unreasonable to expect any President to be familiar with every regulation under consideration across his Administration. (Indeed, the federal regulatory ranks now number 271,000 full-time employees.) But in this instance, the problem is not that he doesn’t know the details. The problem is his apparent imperviousness to the consequences of regulatory extremism.

    Since taking office in January 2009, the Obama Administration has imposed 75 new major regulations with reported costs to the private sector exceeding $40 billion. No other President has burdened businesses and individuals with a higher number and larger cost of regulations in a comparable time period.

    As reported today in The Washington Post, Obama is on track to become the first President in the modern era to score negative job growth. In all likelihood, this wouldn’t be the case if he would recognize the concerns of hard-working citizens and curb his regulatory impulses. A Katschnig put it, “There’s a phrase going around about this Administration—that it’s never seen a regulation it didn’t like.”

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to President Obama's Regulatory Dust-Up

    1. Just proves he is (camplaining).

    2. jeff says:

      Obama is crippling our economy, the demoncrats want to cripple our military and the Chinese are gearing up for war. I think it's time to start worrying don't you

    3. John says:

      This sounds like a good reason to DEFUND the EPA!!

    4. Sean says:

      It's not surprising at all that the President doesn't have a clue what's going on with the farmers, to him they are merely serfs who are subject to the authority of the elite so he would have no reason to concern himself with anything that affects them. Hell, he couldn't even tell Mr. Katchsnig the proper agency to talk to regarding his concerns.

      With that in mind, this country doesn't need a President who is this out of touch with the working class of America. Obama has been given everything he wants on a platter once it was realized he would someday be an asset to the Democrat party so he's long since forgotten what it's like to be in the middle/working class and have each decision influenced by every dollar you do or don't have. Since taking office he seems to have really turned his back to the reality that so many people are affected by every move the government makes and that anything the government does to make life more difficult or add costs to anything only places further hardship on the millions who are struggling to stay afloat and independent of government assistance.

      The problem with people like Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et-al is that they have the attitude of "my will be done" and will force people to adapt rather than consider the impact of what they're doing. It's unhealthy for our country, its people, and our future to have such law happy people in power, stripping us of our liberties and forcing us into compliance with the ridiculous ideas and regulations they come up with.

      The day an elected official forgets who put them in office is the same day they need to be removed from that office and replaced with someone who WILL remember and look out for our best interests at ALL costs.

    5. mylife4jesus says:

      Regulating dust? I don't understand how that's supposed to work…anyways, I guess I also don't understand how bureaus like the EPA can pass regulations that have the force of law. Are they Congress? No. Then go away. I'm all for the power of suggestion, but this is ridiculous!

      • Major Johnson says:

        It works that way because congress gave itself the authority to regulate such things and then passed that authority to these agencies. 535 congress critters can't possibly do a regulatory job that it currently takes over 200,000 people to do, nor can they even be aware of what those regulators are doing in any serious sense, therefore our country is actually run in large part by these agencies under the "supervision" of congress. But it's not like congress has time to regulate the reservoir on your toilet or the shower head in your shower, they're far too busy studying the serious national issues of college basketball rankings and baseball players taking steroids, so some obscure agency almost no one has ever heard of gets the task of regulating shower heads. That's not a joke, there really are federal regulations regarding the shower heads in your private bathroom.

        It's similar to how they gave the President authority to start a war without their permission even though the constitution states very clearly that only congress can declare war (though the war powers act does have a 60 day limit where the president is "supposed" to go back to congress for more permission), something President Obama has apparently decided is actually a voluntary requirement rather than a lawful requirement.

    6. curt says:

      Welcome to the "progressive" party. America was once the breadbasket of the world. By the time this administration is done we won't be able to grow enough food to feed ourselves.

    7. Kay Bruce says:

      Obama's naivete is well past cute. It's apparent he thought DC only needed better organizational skills and that he didn't really need to know anything about the world. He thinks his job is shuffling people and papers, that's why he didn't have a real answer for farmers. He's an organizing puppet and the puppet master is evil.

    8. BCallister says:

      You forgot another "rumor." The talk about requiring anyone who drives a tractor, combine, harvester, etc (including a pickup truck pulling a livestock trailer) on a public road to have a CDL. If I recall correctly, I believe the intent is to make it so that this would also limit the local or state ability to allow exemptions for the regulation.

    9. He's standing under a great sign…He should take the hint!

    10. James Mc Quillan says:


    11. Kyle says:

      The fact of the matter is, this was campaigning on the taxpayers dime, pure & simple. More utter waste from this incompetent, thanks to the ongoing regulations & BS rhetoric since he was elected nearly 3 yrs. ago. BO is so out of touch with reality it's beyond comprehension!

    12. Cindi Taylor says:

      I can't believe there are no comments yet! Obama is attempting to ruin our country in order to obtain full control of it! Extreme? You bet! We are a strong people,believe and hang onto our freedom. His belief does not include freedom. Our country and its people have to be literally squashed somehow in order to attain the control that Obama and his followers want. Every dictatorship works like this!

    13. Tim Goedeker says:

      It’s time for the administration to curb it’s enthusiasm for new regulation. The regulatory agencies should audit the existing regulations to ensure they are being followed as intended and the inspector general’s office should be ensure the regulatory agencies are enforcing the regulations properly.

      • Slick says:

        NO, TIm, it is WAY PAST TIME for this administration to learn who they work for!!!! The problem is that we don't NEED to government sticking their collective noses into every corner of our lives . . . . won't be long before they tell us how many "squares of toilet paper" we can use, depending upon the job being done!!! And in all fairness this path we are on did NOT start with Big O, but he sure is pressing his luck! I don't know about you folks, but I have just about had enough government to last me until my dying day!

    14. Linda says:

      Regarding the dust issue, what does the EPA plan to do about the 'natural' dust storms that are occurring in Arizona and other parts of the drought area? I think they need to get out of their offices and experience the real world!! And as far as farmers, who plow the dirt, how do they think the dust that comes from that is going to be stopped!! I know!!!! They will stop farming altogether!

      • Slick says:

        Why they will "OUTLAW" them of course!!! And there will be fines and penalties for State, County and Local governments who don't comply. How else do you expect Washington to continue to rake in enough dough to keep the massive wheels turning at the progressive speed required?????

    15. Ruth Warrick says:

      He knows what he is doing to us he has to go , I don't know how long it will take us to fix what he has done ,there are more of his kind that need to get out of the House and Senate

    16. mike peters says:

      Hey Barack : The answer to you is NO !!! What ever you want : NO !!!!
      We don't want it we won't do it and we won't put up with it. You have no idea the damage you are doing to AMERICA and you don't seem to care …WE THE PEOPLE are now telling you NO !! No MORE !!!!

      no ..CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT ??? no MEANS "FREAKIN' NO " !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      End of discussion

    17. Handyman says:

      EPA and USDA and FDA have to many clowns with nothing to but think up stupid crap that makes no sense.The earth and heavens have taken care of themselves for years without any of these bureaucrats

    18. mike peters says:

      Hey Obama,_ The answer is NO !!! Whatever your question is the answer is NO !! NO more rules and regulations ,no more higher taxes no MORE sppending ,,only less spending. No more dust "dust regulations" You don't want our farmers to make dust ?? ARe you really that much of an idiot?? I did not fully understand the depth of your ignorance !!! You must make dust when you move dirt to plant crops .._Whatever you want ,the answer is now and will be forever ,,,, FREAKIN' NO !!!!! Don't even ask ,,just NO !!_No ,,,

    19. There MUST be a way to get rid of the EPA. It's too powerful and so many of it's regulations are go against common sense.

    20. Tom Severs says:

      All this bus tour is, is a re-election campaign. The EPA should have it's funds cut. Some of the regulations that they are cinsidering are absolutely ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, I am all for clean air, clean water and not dumping toxic chemicals just anywhere, but these regulations are crippling this country and they are doing it with Barry's blessing! I find it ironic that this idiot is out on a "jobs" tour, when it's his administrations policies that are putting a strangle hold on jobs. 2012 can't come soon enough! I just hope that people have learned their lesson from "change" of Barry's sort.

    21. Jim Jensen says:

      This is the most calamity prone administration in US history. "What can we screw up today?" You've heard of King Midas. Obama is King Minus. Everything he touches turns to crap.

    22. scarey his arrogance.

    23. Marilyn Pelletier says:

      Another lie from our Dictator-in-Chief. More of his blah, blah, blah.

    24. mike peters says:


    25. therifleman says:

      Obama knows full well that he has increased regulations tenfold and boosted the number of staffers working in a regulatory role. Every day these do-nothings (do nothing good that is) spew forth dozens & dozens of new and absurb reulations that stifle the free market and creativity…And he's surprised no one is hiring?

    26. Obama is not ignorant of the regulations. Americans, study history. Socialists/Marxists must control food and water supply! The burdens are intentional. The end is government control. We must defund and get rid of EPA and other federal regulatory agencies (liberal and environmentalist controlled and almost all based on bad science and liberal social agenda). When the communists took over in Eastern Europe and Russia millions of farmers and their families were murdered because they didn't want to give up control of their farms to the communist regime. (Didn't read about that in history, did you?) While we are sleeping the liberals have been passing legislations for decades giving government more control. Get our heads out of the sand! Stand up now or we won't be able to later. Obama is not trying nor does he want to create jobs or help the economy, it goes against his agenda.

    27. Ivan says:

      Make no mistake – there's a method to this madness…interfere, con-volute, confound & collapse from within. Then – ? REVOLUTION! ?

    28. Bobbie says:

      Obama responded: “Here’s what I’d suggest is, if you hear something is happening, but it hasn’t happened, don’t always believe what you hear.” ***astute, Mr. President! Making the President available to the people means he comes prepared to answer questions of concern THEN directs them to further details. That's what a town hall is. Regulations shouldn't be imposed if they reflect any part of a "special interest."

      Why is the government regulatory commission working behind the backs of hard working people analyzing ways to regulate their businesses? 4 wasted tax dollar paid YEARS researching ways to circumvent common sense to contrive regulations that mock common sense?

      270,000 full time employees to regulate freedom! Wow, that's a whole country in some parts of the world and alot of Americans money that's removing America's freedom to self govern. Regulatory extremism is perfectly accurate and someone better put their foot down on this crime against humanity!

      Intrusive regulations that hinder farming, which hinders the production of food, which causes food to become EVEN MORE expensive and another avoidable foreseen "crisis!" If it was just for good impression alone this would be averted at all costs! If dismissed, it'll be for near future gain.

      There are no reasons to impose government regulations that promote impeding of any business. Every government regulation imposed has been counterproductive to America's common sense and freedom and Americans progressive (in it's true sense)move forward!

      The only credit of the EPA is fraud and an observed president and his administration that supports it. Their work has shown nothing but attacks on the skills and intelligence in all areas of self governing, imposing regulations that prevent production and remove the freedom to self govern and independently conduct business. NOT the role of ANY GOVERNMENT!

      In America, what people do for themselves the government has no right wasting tax paid time and tax paid money, TAKING OVER!!

      Now all that remains to be done is for EPA to be removed from the freedom, dignity and intelligence of the people. There is no purpose of significance for any of this and the President knows it. That's why he wants people to wait till it happens, when it's too late to stop it.

      Thank goodness for the 21 Senators who respect to use their common sense! Burdens put on self governing is part of the agenda and if someone doesn't use their authority to stop it, America is continuing to head in the wrong direction of freedom lost.

      Too much government and nobody gets anywhere!

      $40 billion dollars into COUNTER PRODUCTIVITY!!!!! America sure could use 270,000 people working in the private sector where more dollars from money that GENERATES could go to the president's insistance for more tax dollars!

    29. Used to live in Peoria. Nicely done, Rock.

    30. jaime says:

      Talking to him is like talking to a wall. The only answer comes in November 2012: House, Senate, and White House must go conservative. No more games with this socialist.

    31. bobbcat says:

      This farmer should not have been surprised that Obama was not "informed." Obama hates his job as POTUS; all he really likes are the perks that come with the job. Some are speculating that he may not run for a 2nd term. One can only hope. Meantime everyone needs to gird their loins for the worst & pray for the best……

    32. bgmacaw says:

      It's clear that Katschnig isn't part of a large agricultural conglomerate who has lobbyists in Washington and makes regular "donations" (aka payoffs) to the DNC and Obama campaigns. Obama can only hope that between government regulations and the actions of his billionaire buddies like Google and Buffet that such small business gadflies will be out of business and enslaved on the government "payroll" where they can be silenced.

    33. Lance says:

      Just to set the record straight M.J. Lee is a female….

    34. Jan says:

      It's my fault. I called the EPA in Washington to complain about all that red dust blowin into Kansas and then that dad cum cold weather that comes from Canada. If they are going to impose sanctions on Kansas when we burn the praire grass, then let's spread some of those sanctions to other folks. They didn't get the joke!

    35. Bill says:

      I can't claim to have deciphered all the signatures on the Senate letter to EPA's Lisa Jackson, but it appears neither Illinois senator (Kirk-R/Durbin-D) signed it. Wake-Up Gentlemen!

    36. Kathy Beats says:

      Chevron killed the 9/11 first responders and much of lower Manhatten with the cancer causing chemicals in the Twin Towers. Genetic proof now exists that Chevron pumped, produced and processed almost all of the cancer causing petrochemicals in the Twin Towers and that they knew their compounds caused cancer decades ago. See: http://petroleum-products-cause-cancer.weebly.com
      and http://911dust.org
      (Please re-post)

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