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Rep. Gardner rips EPA for rural rules, invites chief for a visit

Posted by Michael Sandoval on February 11th, 2011
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Rep. Cory Gardner (CO 4) and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson argued over regulations aimed at rural communities and agriculture sources in a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce committee. Jackson pointed to the clean energy sector as a source for future jobs, while Gardner defended rural, agricultural workers and small business owners, who would bear the price of increased EPA regulations:

G: Do you think they need to worry about job losses?

J: I think we, the President has made it clear that jobs are our absolute focus.

G: That’s a simple yes or no question.

J: Absolutely, jobs are our absolute focus. We believe the clean energy sector is a place to grow jobs . . .

G: What if they’re not in the clean energy sector? Should they worry about jobs? I mean, this sounds like we’re picking winners and losers and saying some jobs are better than others.

J: I do know this, sir, the Clear Air Act is supposed to relieve their minds about pollution in the air that might make them and their family sick.
. . .
G: And, on agriculture, I think it’s important to, when we talk about agriculture’s not affected by these rules, and jobs aren’t affected by these rules, I want to point out a letter that talked about the cost of running a sprinkler for farmers in my district. The estimated cost of certain greenhouse gas emission controls would cost the farmer in this particular electric association nearly $2,000 a year per meter. Do you think that will affect their ability to hire people and to grow their operation?

J: Sir, I don’t know what you’re referring to, but I’m happy to review it, and I’m also happy to again state what I said before, that as we put these regulations out, they are meant to be common sense moves that, in general, will rely on efficiency and other moderate steps that will add up, that will get us started in moving towards reducing greenhouse gas pollution.

Later, following an exchange with Jackson over the state of rural economies, Gardner invited Jackson to visit his district, to see firsthand the effects of the economic downturn and the burden of environmental regulations on rural counties supported by agriculture:

G: Administrator Jackson, I would invite you to to my district to meet with people who believe the economy has not thrived over the past several years.

J: I’d be perfectly happy to do that, sir.

Rachel Boxer, communications director for Gardner, told WhoSaidYouSaid the offer to Jackson still stands. “We have not heard from Ms. Jackson since Rep. Gardner invited her to our district, but if she ever wants to visit we would be delighted to show her around,” said Boxer.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Sandoval

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