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How does the Farm Bureau affect my city water?

Monday, March 6, 2017 4:49
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Read aguanomics for the world’s best analysis of the politics and economics of water KT emails:

I live in California but my all family in [STATE] are huge Trump supporters because they are farmers. They are against every single environmental regulation. They love that Trump repealed EPA’s WOTUS rule. They believe that “they know better than Washington” how to keep their land non-toxic because their families live on it. Their children will inherit it. If you have a take on what’s happening with WOTUS and the Farm Bureau, I would love to read about it. My cousin is posting Facebook photos of Trump with Farm Bureau leaders. I haven’t seen a single non-white person in a photo on their website or Facebook page which really concerns me. My mom escaped the [STATE] farm life as soon as she could because, still to this day, women are expected to cook, clean, and raise their husband’s children. Kids aren’t encouraged to go to college but to take over the farm to keep alive the farming lifestyle which is “threatened”.

Well KT, there are a few different things to say in response to your concerns. First, farmers are known for being both conservative when it comes to change and prickly regarding outside perspectives and interventions. Those feelings can make sense when you consider how “radical” ideas can lead to crop failure, hunger and economic damages. On the other hand, they are hardly consistent with farmers’ continued willingness to accept various subsidies, protections and favors (the Farm Bill favors industrial ag at the expense of food quality, the environment, and rural livelihoods).

Trump’s support for rolling back the EPA and WOTUS (Waters of the US) regulations are consistent with his pro-pollution, pro-big business attitudes, which are myopic and probably bad for the majority of Americans. The most obvious problem arises via pollutants flowing off land into rivers (or under it to aquifers) because “those who know better” are unlikely to monitor or detect damages. Going further, they are unlikely to act to reduce damages if those damages fall on others, but that logic won’t work for very long before you have a “polluting Peter who’s damaged by his neighbor Paul.” Take a look at this figure from the [not yet unfunded] USGS:

The red areas are inhabited by republicans farmers poisoning their groundwater

Bottom Line Farmers released from environmental regulations will celebrate their “freedom to make America great” in the short run, but their families and communities will be poisoned in the long run (ignoring that many are already suffering from environmental toxins).


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