Seems no one except special interest is happy with the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill passed today and which establishes U.S. Agricultural Policy over the next decade at the tune of nearly one trillion dollars. Folks over at Grist are fuming about the Senate’s version while other unnamed “environmental groups” in the NYT are saying it does some good, but not enough. The current bill cuts $24B from current spending and does a better job at saving jobs and helping the starving poor in this country, while cutting conservation by $3.5B. Some conservatives, like Senator Ted Cruz, are unhappy, arguing the Bill does more harm than good, spreading the love among politicians and special interests while perpetuating entitlements unrelated to agricultural policy – nothing new there. Unclear how this will be resolved in reconciliation, but given the Houses’s more aggressive cuts, more cuts are inevitable [Update: On June 20, in a 195-234 vote, the House rejected a five-year Farm Bill, with 62 GOP Members voting against the legislation in favor of a smaller more conservative bill].
In a newly released article, The Heritage Foundation offers the following eight principles for conservation:
- People are the most important, unique, and precious resource.
- Renewable natural resources, are resilient and dynamic and respond positively to wise management.
- Private property protections and free markets provide the most promising new opportunities for environmental improvements.
- Efforts to reduce, control, and remediate pollution should achieve real environmental benefits.
- As we accumulate scientific, technological, and artistic knowledge, we learn how to get more from less.
- Management of natural resources should be conducted on a site- and situation specific basis.
- Science should be employed as one tool to guide public policy.
- The most successful environmental policies emanate from liberty.