WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, says the Obama administration needs to do more to consider small businesses and rural areas before pushing new regulations.
“Many Mississippi farmers don’t feel that the EPA has had many, if any, hearings in public in the Mississippi Delta, where agriculture interests are so important, to talk about the conflicts that are going to naturally arise between new environmental mandates and the well-being of agriculture,” Cochran said.
Cochran points out that the higher ozone levels in Mississippi come from the timber and agricultural industries within the state. New air regulations could create compliance issues for 27 states. Mississippi would be among those hit hard; it would cost the state $19 billion in fees and over 13,000 jobs, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
“The Environmental Protection Agency missions of protecting human health and preserving the environment are important. It is not unexpected that EPA regulations sometimes run counter to our nation’s economic interests. The balancing of those economic and environmental interests in a fair-minded way is something we must achieve,” Cochran said.