Nov. 3, 2011: Markey: The Farm Dust Fairy Tale

Statement for Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)
Markup of The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011
Subcommittee on Energy and Power
November 3, 2011


“Today, we gather to mark up a real piece of legislation that solves an imaginary problem.

“The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act purports to address the fictitious threat that the Environmental Protection Agency is out to destroy the family farm and countless jobs by regulating the dust emitted by tractors and other farming equipment.

“Never mind that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has promised not to change the 1987 standard for large soot particles.

“And never mind that EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy essentially told the Subcommittee last week that EPA was about as likely to regulate fairy dust as it was to regulate farm dust.

“While these sorts of excursions into Congressional Never Never Land may satisfy those who just don’t believe anything they hear from this Administration, this bill will inflict very real harm.

“That is because this bill also blocks EPA from setting standards for the dirty soot that gets spewed out of massive mines, smelters, refineries and some chemical plants.

“In the play “Peter Pan”, Tinkerbell drinks poison that is intended to kill Peter.  She begins to die – but Peter Pan implores the audience to just clap their hands if they really do believe in fairies – and then maybe, just maybe, Tinkerbell won’t die.  Every small child in the audience then claps so hard their hands sting – and Tinkerbell rises magically back to life.

“With this bill, Republicans are engaging in the very same sort of fantasy.

“If we just believe that EPA has launched a war on jobs, then it must be so, and we must stop it.

“If we just believe that EPA officials are lying about their secret plans to destroy the livelihood of every farmer in America, then it must be so, and we must stop it.

“If we just believe that eviscerating every environmental law on the books will not lead to the real deaths of thousands of Americans each and every year – then it must be so.

“The Republican Lost Boys are telling America that the only way to revive the Jobs Fairy is to kill the EPA.

“To pretend that the Republican Farm Dust plan won't lead to unnecessary deaths, cancers and other illnesses requires a suspension of disbelief worthy of a fairy tale.”