Ernst invites McCarthy to see regulatory-impact tour of Iowa 

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) invited EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy yesterday to visit Iowa to see the “significant consequences” of agency regulations on the state’s agricultural industry.

In her letter to McCarthy, the freshman senator listed as her top concerns EPA’s failure to set annual biofuel mandates and a proposal to expand the waters of the United States that get automatic Clean Water Act protections.

The invitation came after Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) met Friday with the administrator in Washington to raise similar regulatory issues.

“I would invite you to visit Iowa and directly engage with the people impacted the most by your regulatory choices,” Ernst wrote. “It is critical to hear and see how your proposed changes to [the Waters of the U.S. rule] and failure to put forth required levels for the [renewable fuel standard] could, and have, impacted farmers, biofuel producers, and all of the important related industries.”

Ernst, seen by many as a rising star in the GOP, has been a vocal opponent of environmental regulation of agriculture. She campaigned on a platform that included shutting down EPA and turning over environmental protection to state regulators (E&E Daily, Jan. 13).

Ernst is also a co-sponsor of the “Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act,” or REINS, a bill that would give Congress the final say in any agency regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more.

Along with inviting McCarthy to Iowa, Ernst said she also looks forward to “engaging” McCarthy in Washington through her membership in the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees.