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Roby: Taking on the EPA

Rep. Martha Roby, R-AL02
Rep. Martha Roby, R-AL02

When Alabamians have trouble with the federal government, my job is to step in and try to help. That’s exactly what happened when a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation imposed costly inspection and compliance requirements on Alabama farmers.

For years, EPA regulations for fuel storage on farms authorized under the Clean Water Act of 1972 applied only to very large fuel tanks, or those with a history of spills. Now, the EPA is applying the regulations to smaller tanks and farming operations with no history of accidents.

As you probably know, agriculture is the top industry in Alabama, employing more than 580,000 of our citizens. Like in many industries, aggressive agriculture regulations from Washington increase costs, stifle opportunities, and make life difficult for farmers.

Thomas Adams from Henry County was one such farmer who was impacted. The new EPA rules would force him to spend thousands of dollars for special equipment and services to certify that his fuel tanks were compliant. Learn more about Thomas’s story by watching his WTVY News interview in the clip above.

Americans are tired of the endless stream of heavy-handed regulations coming out of Washington. I worked with my colleague Representative Rick Crawford of Arkansas on the FUELS Act, which seeks to rein in EPA farm regulations to truly reflect risk. Specifically, the FUELS Act would exempt fuel tanks under 10,000 gallons from the regulation and allow larger tanks without a history of accidents to self-certify.

I am pleased to report that the House passed the FUELS Act on March 11 in an unanimous voice vote. I was proud to work on behalf of Thomas Adams and all Alabama farmers to find a solution to this problem and help provide some much-needed relief. Now, we are urging the Senate to pass this bi-partisan legislation without delay.

This is just one example of the harmful impact overreaching federal regulations can have on small businesses, farms, and individuals. If you know of an overly burdensome regulation that is hurting you or your business, please write to me or visit Roby.House.gov and let me know.

Combating Executive Overreach

One of the top questions I am asked is what Congress is doing to address the pattern of executive overreaches and disregard for the law by President Obama and his administration. Good, God-fearing Americans who work hard, pay their taxes, and obey the law are understandably frustrated by a president who acts as if he is above the law.

I believe in our Constitution, and I believe it’s worth fighting for. That’s why I was proud to support two bills passed this week by the House designed to rein in the Obama Administration and open the door to legal action to challenge particularly egregious abuses of power. While the separation of powers may not always be convenient for President Obama’s political goals, it is necessary to ensure government still derives its authority from the people, not the other way around.

Martha Roby represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. To contact her, visit her website or call her Washington, D.C. office at (202)225-2901.

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