Reed Rubinstein, senior counsel for the U.S. chamber of Commerce says farmers need to commit their time, energy, money and best thinking if they want to stop the proliferation of federal regulations that threaten their businesses. Addressing the 93rd American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Hawaii, Rubinstein said – this isn’t academic folks. When the federal government exercises its authority, it can send you to jail. We are all one regulation away from being out of business.
He said, – most of the “hyper regulation” currently affecting farmers stems from expansion of environmental law. But new health care regulations and financial reform will add to their regulatory burden in the next five to 10 years. He also noted that EPA is having internal discussions about moving away from place-based regulations supported by science to a holistic approach, which includes concern for social issues in writing regulations.
According to Rubinstein, farmers need to get engaged in these issues and comment on proposed regulations at every level of government. He emphasized that hyper regulation is also a state and local issue. Farmers need to be willing to serve on federal and local advisory panels that draft and review regulations, and file lawsuits if necessary.