WV Farm Bureau Magazine July 2014 - Page 19

Cutting Regulations to Stimulate the Economy – #DitchTheRule Stewart Truelsen Billionaires don’t always say the smartest things, but one of them has a smart idea. At the Forbes Reinventing America Summit, billionaire real estate developer Sam Zell said, “If you want to see the economy go wild just cut all the regulations in half.” Zell is known for his contrarian views and more often than not has been a successful investor. Cutting regulations is certainly contrary to what generally takes place in Washington. Regulations, especially environmental regulations, just keep piling up and up. “We’re in a society where we think all risk can be regulated out,” said Zell. “There are just unending interpretations, revisions, legal fees to the sky – when you’re focused on that, you’re not focused on growing and getting new customers.” Farmers know that feeling all too well. When they should be focused on growing this season’s crops and tending livestock, their attention is diverted by the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Waters of the U.S.” proposed rule. The rule broadens federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and could extend permit requirements to ditches, small ponds and even depressions in fields that are only wet during a heavy rain. Farms, ranches, businesses and new construction could be affected. EPA claims the proposed rule is a clarification of which waters fall under its jurisdiction. But in tracing the