This and That

June 6, 2014

June 6, 2014

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today's commentary —

This week, we'll talk about more than one issue. The first is one that really concerns me and should concern farmers and ranchers across the country. The EPA is at it again. They have given the public until July 21 to comment on new water regulations. Farm and ranch organizations are fighting to stop the EPA power grab. EPA, since 1972, has had jurisdiction over navigable waters. Now, they want to take over every ditch, every pond, millions of acres of farm land. You will have to have a permit to straighten a crooked creek, to tile a pond hole, to do anything. This is serious.

If that's not enough, the EPA announced this week new rules demanding a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from our power plants by 2030. That will close down many, if not most, of our coal plants generating electricity. The result will be more plants will use natural gas to generate electricity. Nitrogen will cost more – made from natural gas. In the end, electricity will cost more – maybe a lot more. Gas is cleaner. And we will export our coal to China. In the final analysis, global greenhouse gas levels will not change. The coal states are up in arms with this Obama policy. That's not going to help the Democratic candidates running in the coal states in the election this fall.

Now, speaking of elections this fall, I have to bring up one race in Iowa to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin. Out of the Iowa corn fields and farm country surging in the polls comes Republican Joni Ernst. She is unique in many ways. She got the attention of the electorate with one of her ads. She talked about castrating baby pigs as a farmer's daughter. She said, with that experience when she gets to Washington, she is qualified to cut pork barrel spending. She added, that should make them squeal. In addition, she currently serves in the Iowa State Senate, is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard, and was a Company Commander in Iraq. She is one Republican candidate with the support of the Tea Party and the establishment Republicans. Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin both campaigned for her. They like her and so do I. I can relate to her. I was in the Army. I am a farm guy, and I castrated pigs. Her Democratic opponent will be Bruce Braley. He should worry. She may be sharpening her knives.

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.