Letter: Conference reveals need for less regulationLast week, I was able to attend the National Conference of State Legislature’s conference on environmental health that was held in St. Paul. The goal of the gathering was to promote personal and environmental health in a variety of settings, such as industry and housing.
By: District 22A Rep. Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne, Worthington Daily Globe
Last week, I was able to attend the National Conference of State Legislature’s conference on environmental health that was held in St. Paul. The goal of the gathering was to promote personal and environmental health in a variety of settings, such as industry and housing. Presenters analyzed different aspects of our environment, like air quality, and described how other states have chosen to deal with these issues.
It was an interesting discussion to say the least.
We learned about the advancements being made with biodiesel, and how the product has become more useful around the globe. For example, biodiesel use has expanded in areas where workers are mining coal because the product burns cleaner and is more efficient. So not only is biodiesel better for the environment, it’s better for the miners who are working around it.
Soybeans are also getting rave reviews around the nation, not necessarily as a food source, but as a cleaning product. Instead of using industrial chemicals for cleaning, soybean-based products are beginning to take their place, creating a healthier atmosphere for people and the environment.
We also heard from the FDA regarding food safety, and learned about the different processes used for food inspection in the beef and poultry industries, as the inspection process can differ from state to state. Housing concepts were also discussed, as other states shared what’s new and working for them as they utilize safer chemicals as they construct new homes or remodel existing structures.
In all, the conference provided good debate and allowed me to take part in some great discussions with lawmakers from across the United States. I left the conference thinking that we to have an honest debate between environmental and business interests. Industrial representatives have told us time and again that they are overregulated as it is, and that adding more costly government-ordered restrictions leads to fewer business expansions and jobs. With that said, we also owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them a safe living environment and a cleaner world, and the actions we take today can assist in this process.
It seems to me that we need to find a balance between these important and competitive interests, and it’s something I will take an active role in when session resumes in January.