Juliet Eilperin writes in the Washington Post today about the public policy of environmental regulation for agriculture:
Agriculture does not occupy a prominent place in America's environmental policy debates, but farming has arguably more of an impact on the land, air and water than any other sector in the U.S. economy, environmental and industry experts say. In addition to producing airborne emissions, farms take up nearly half of the nation's land, and nutrient-laden runoff from farms affects such waterways as local streams and the Gulf of Mexico.The most interesting parts of the article explain how Bush administration officials ordered the Environmental Protection Agency "to stop investigating farm emissions in 2001":
But the EPA's amnesty for major livestock producers may amount to a temporary reprieve as even farmers' most loyal political allies are sensing a shift in public sentiment. Calvin M. Dooley, a former central California farmer who served in the House for 14 years, said local attitudes hardened during his time in office, which ended this year.
"There's a different political environment in the Central Valley today," said Dooley, a Democrat who now heads the Food Products Association. "More and more people have become increasingly concerned about the health and environmental consequences of our air quality."