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Cain ad makes false claims, EPA says

Screen shot 2011-11-14 at 2.01.38 PM
Screen shot 2011-11-14 at 2.01.38 PM

A television ad from Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, running statewide on radio and the FOX News Channel, erroneously claims the Environmental Protection Agency wants to regulate methane from cattle and dust from farming activities.

The ad features a number of farmers, one of which says the EPA wants to regulate methane coming from cattle.

“For thousands of years, 60 million buffalo roamed these prairies in Iowa,” one farmer says. “Who regulated them?”

EPA regional spokesman David Bryan told The Iowa Independent Monday that “there’s no truth to that at all.”

“There are a number of regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and different types of ambient air quality standards, but trying to say we’re putting a tax on emissions from cows is just a little ridiculous,” Bryan said.

Another claim in the ad, that the EPA wants to regulate dust on farms, is also a myth. Bryan said every five years the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to evaluate air standards, but EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson made it clear in a note to Congress that there is no intention to regulate dust on farms.

“You can’t plow a field without dust, you can’t drive down a gravel road without dust,” a farmer says in Cain’s ad. “My dog makes dust.”

The EPA focuses on regulating course particulates, Bryan said, such as dust from construction, demolition and industrial sites.

“We center our monitoring of air mostly on urban areas where it affects the most people,” he said. “We’re going to leave the dust standards where they are.”

Dean Kleckner, former head of the Iowa Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau, endorses Cain in the ad, saying, “He reminds me of Ronald Reagan, and I knew Ronald Reagan.”

“Over-regulation is killing the American farmer,” Kleckner says. “I think Herman Cain is the answer. Running a farm is a business and Herman Cain is a proven CEO.”

Bryan said the EPA has worked to counter the false claims that the EPA wants to regulate methane and dust, but not everyone is getting the message.

“What further method do we have other than you folks to say we don’t intend on doing this?” Bryan said.

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