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Sen. Boozman of Ark. calls for a review of USDA regulatory actions

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U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas is calling for a review of the the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulations and rules related to a recent Environmental Protection Agency rollback by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding overreach. The decision was filed regarding the West Virginia v. EPA filing from June 30, 2022. 

In its decision, SCOTUS blocked the EPA from implementing the Clean Air Act, regulating emissions from power plants. Boozman expressed concerns for future initiatives addressing climate change, climate-smart farming, and forestry practices. He also wrote about his concern for the impact the court’s decision could have on the upcoming Farm Bill. Boozman encouraged the Department to assist in developing statutory language that would clearly establish USDA authority to craft and issue implementing regulations. 

»Related: Response to USDA’s new food-system plan highlights policy divide

“Although the decision concerned EPA, it will have significant implications for government-wide rulemaking efforts moving forward, including USDA,” Boozman wrote. “The Department has also announced initiatives to address climate change and promote climate-smart farming and forestry practices, which may also implicate the major questions doctrine. Considering the significance of these rules and initiatives, I request any information about any of USDA’s efforts to review current regulations, proposed rules, and other agency actions that may be affected by this recent Supreme Court decision.”

In December 2021, Boozman signed onto an amicus curiae brief filed at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the petitioners in West Virginia v EPA, which included the following summary, “When Congress decides to address greenhouse gas emissions in an entire sector of our national economy, it does so with explicit and specific legislative text. This Court should not permit agencies to “discover” expansive regulatory authorities where none exist.”

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