Over the last couple of years we’ve seen new regulations come from the White House, leaving those of us in agriculture confused, frightened and apprehensive for the future of our businesses and families.
At times, the government tells us how much they support agriculture and remind us of the millions of dollars they have made available through numerous programs to help ag. Then, the very next week, they pull the rug out from under us with more unnecessary regulations.
I feel lucky I’m not in the oil business since the White House has gone against this industry by refusing to lease federal mineral rights or allow any infrastructure on federal lands to complete wells.
Let’s face it, the White House simply does not want fossil fuel production to occur, not only in the West, but across the entire nation.
They also want to do away with all natural gas appliances in the near future. In fact, in some larger cities they have tried to block natural gas lines to all new buildings, and new houses will be next.
A couple of months ago, we heard about the elimination of gas stoves which caused a lot of pushback. Then they came out with a statement saying this wasn’t true because the president wouldn’t back it up in order to keep everyone calm.
In March, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said, “The full range of gas stoves absolutely is not affected.”
But in the last several months, the Department of Energy introduced a series of other energy-efficient regulations impacting various home appliances including air conditioners, ovens, washers and refrigerators.
This past week, the White House made its most aggressive move toward pushing the country to electric vehicles with the Environmental Protection Agency proposing for tighter vehicle emission standards for both light- and medium-duty vehicles as well as heavy-duty trucks used in construction, agriculture and hauling freight.
These tighter emission standards would begin in 2027 and would likely lead to electric vehicles accounting for roughly two-thirds of light-duty vehicles and nearly one-half of medium-duty vehicles (pickup) sales by 2032.
I’m not against electric vehicles – I realize they are going to be part of the future – but we need to develop efficient batteries and infrastructure to support those batteries.
We need to take our time in switching over, and we also need to keep our generation plants open to supply electricity, as solar and wind will not fill the need. We need to explore other sources such as hydrogen and keep coal mines open while doing so.
The White House has set up a program to establish bison back in the Central Plains and Western states by buying up private lands. On federal lands, they will use conservation as a use to change control to block federal lands grazing.
A herd of bison will not support small communities as agriculture does now. Ranchers and farmers have proven time and time again one can farm and ranch while improving conservation on those lands. We see it every day.
Those of us in agriculture realize there will always be change – good and bad – just as we believe in a changing climate. We will never be able to stop change, and we certainly will not be able to eliminate our changing climate either.
One cannot govern by lying to the people, those who vote will see to that. The only issue the White House recognizes is climate change, as all regulations are connected to it.
Dennis Sun is the publisher of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, a weekly agriculture newspaper available online and in print. To subscribe, visit wylr.net or call 800-967-1647.