WASHINGTON – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) said in a press release it is looking for action when it comes to President Obama’s commitment to conduct a regulatory review of his administration’s agencies. President Obama issued the Executive Order “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” on Jan. 18 in order to ensure the regulatory system protects public health, welfare, safety and the environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness and job creation.

A thorough review of the “unprecedented” number of regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be made, said Tamara Thies, NCBA chief environment council.

“Enough is enough” regarding the many regulations pertaining specifically to US agriculture, she said. NCBA joined with other industry stakeholders on April 4 to submit two sets of comments for EPA’s consideration as the agency seeks public input on President Obama’s Executive Order.

“Regulation after regulation, EPA has demonstrated a blatant lack of knowledge of the agricultural industry,” Thies said. “We are not a smokestack industry. Instead, we are affected by the whims of Mother Nature and biology. Yet, EPA continues to regulate us as if we were smokestacks.

“We hope EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and her staff will take this regulatory review seriously and foster a new beginning for the EPA and agriculture,” Thies added. “To continue business as usual would be inappropriate and devastating for rural economies.”

Thies pointed said EPA has been transformed into a $10 billion entity with more than 17,000 employees. From January 2009 to June 2010, EPA has finalized 653 rules and proposed 463, according to the Congressional Research Service – this totals more than 1,100 new rules in 17 months.

Regulations are proposed without a scientific foundation and without a grasp of unintended consequences, Thies charged.

“Regulatory decisions are made by mission-oriented agencies that face few constraints when imposing costs on the economy,” she added.

In conclusion, Thies said there is need for a continuous regulatory review – and not a one-time exercise.