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Halt cash flow to ‘What’s Upstream’

DAILY SUN NEWS EDITORIAL

Congressman Dan Newhouse is outraged the federal Environmental Protection Agency continues to give money to the anti-farmer “What’s Upstream” advertising campaign. He is demanding that Administrator Gina McCarthy immediately halt agency grant programs to stop the flow of tax dollars to a political effort.

Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, is saying exactly what Eastern Washington farmers and ranchers have been saying. And we also believe it’s time to cut off the agency’s ability to “grant” money.

This week, Newhouse called for a prohibition on so-called subgrant awards. Essentially, subgrant funds are passed to one group, which then regrants the money. It’s a backdoor way for extreme environmentalists to continue to attack rural farm, ranch and orchard operations.

That’s exactly what is happening with some of the funds in a $25 million, five-year EPA grant to the National Indian Fisheries Commission. That organization earmarked some of the funds to continue to pay for the “What’s Upstream” campaign, which depicts farmers and ranchers as polluters responsible for killing salmon.

Newhouse wants answers on why the money is still flowing into the anti-agricultural effort. And so do we.

But in the meantime, Newhouse is rightly calling for the EPA to be stripped of its ability to “grant” money. We agree.

Rather than allowing the federal government to continue to collect vast amounts of tax dollars to pay salaries and then decide who should receive a share of what’s left, we think it’s time to curtail federal grant practices in general. Rather than take our tax funds and give us only a little bit back, the feds should reduce taxes and let us spend it the way we see fit at the local or state level.

It’s time to end the EPA’s ability to spend our hard-earned tax dollars on counter-productive, political efforts.

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