It's like looking up the mountain and seeing an avalanche coming toward you — full force. You see it coming, you can't get out of the way, you can't stop it — all you can do is to seek what little cover there is and hope someone will dig you out in time!

So it was with the mad rush to put in place as many new environmental regulations as possible before administrations changed.

We used to blame the zeal of Ms. Browner for precipitous and unreasonable actions against business in general and agribusiness in particular, but — in recent months she has been shown to be merely one pawn in a much larger scheme being mounted by a legacy seeking ex-President.

He didn't seem to be able to nail down even a small victory in the foreign policy arena. The good economy for which he claimed undue credit is now showing signs of weakness. So all he had left was to try to ingratiate himself to his enviro supporters and make as much mischief as possible so that retrenchment by a new administration will be extremely difficult.

Let's look at just a few of the “biggies”

  • The finalization of the OSHA ergonomics rule which in addition to causing all industry to waste untold millions of dollars for nebulous results — but even more dangerous — opens a new avenue for hungry plaintiff's attorneys and class action suits. Anyone doing business who has had to deal with a stubborn “bad back” compensation claim can just shudder at the idea of sore wrists, hurt eyes, carpal tunnel injuries — all caused by “poor ergonomics” and, of course, the company's fault.

  • The closing off of millions of acres of government owned forest lands, mostly in the west, to road building, access and commercial logging — all of which could be beneficial to both the farmer and the economy.

  • Attempts to use the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act to get around FIFRA and FQPA.

These are but a few which will surely tax an incoming administration to bring back reason and balance in our regulatory system.

To add insult to injury our outgoing President was quoted recently with the greatest insult of all to agriculture. According to an article in the Washington Post by T. R. Reid, Mr. Clinton is reported to have said in a speech at Worsham University during a recent trip to England that “the wealthier countries should end our agricultural subsidies” and buy food instead from Third World farmers who can produce it “more cheaply than we”.

So long Mr. Farmer and all who buy from him and sell to him! It's hard to think that even Mr. Clinton could be that uncaring for the American economy.

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