In January, President Barack Obama declared despite Congressional logjams, “America does not stand still – and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
The Center for Rural Affairs has stood firmly in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan as a vital first step in reducing carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants, addressing climate change, and creating opportunities for renewable energy development in rural America. And we have stood up for EPA’s crucial Waters of the U.S. proposal to clear the regulatory waters surrounding the Clean Water Act and better protect rural America’s most precious resource – water.
President Obama must also understand, however, that America’s family farms, ranches and small towns do not stand still either. Nor do we intend to be left behind. The time has come for Obama to fulfill his 2007 campaign pledge and close the loopholes mega-farms use to get around farm program payment limits, providing them the unlimited subsidies they use to drive up land costs and drive family farmers out of business.
We have applauded Obama’s administration for moving the new carbon rule forward and for proposing the waters of the U.S. rule. And if they can do these things then they can by God write a meaningful “actively engaged” rule for federal farm programs that protects family farmers and reins in unlimited farm subsidies.