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Romney creates dust-up over non-existent farm dust rule

Mitt Romney is using a debunked myth to attack President Obama for supposedly over-regulating pollution. At the University of Chicago, Romney said:

Regulators are always on the prowl. Under President Obama, they are multiplying like proverbial rabbits … a regulator would have shut down the Wright Brothers for their dust pollution.”

There is a reason fact-check organizations have labeled the “farm dust” regulation rumor as fiction: No such regulation exists. Here are the facts:

  • For more than 40 years, the Clean Air Act has monitored and controlled particle pollution, primarily from large industrial facilities and construction sites. The regulations are not directed toward family farms. In fact, these protections have existed for decades and include provisions to minimize interference with farming and other economic activities.

  • When EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson issued a letter about the final decision on updates to the particle pollution rule and knocked down rumors of regulating “farm dust,” agricultural groups praised Jackson’s decision, “saying it should settle the ‘farm dust’ issue.” National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson noted that Jackson “finally puts to rest the misinformation regarding dust regulation and eases the minds of farmers and ranchers across the country.”

Even Republican Sen. Mike Johanns, who wanted a guarantee that the EPA would not overregulate farm dust, said that the “EPA has finally provided what I’ve been asking for all along: unequivocal assurance that it won’t attempt to regulate farm dust.”

The only reason Romney and Republicans are creating a dust-up over a non-existent dust regulation is to gain political points at the expense of the truth.