In this afternoon’s House Resources Committee meeting, all the testimony was in favor of HB 473, Rep. Paul Shepherd’s bill to nullify the EPA because of concerns from suction dredge miner about regulations. “EPA just wants control, they want power,” Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, told the committee. She said veterans are “precious to us,” and many veterans find it “soothing” to do recreational suction dredge mining. “They’re trying to control us, and they’re trying to control our vets also,” she said.
Others who spoke railed against “environmental fruitcakes,” “tyrannical bullshit,” “people from back east” and “these big environmental groups.” Shepherd told the committee, “All over the United States, people are concerned with EPA overreach. … The purpose of this legislation is to protect citizens of Idaho from EPA regulations that are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and that violate the Constitution’s true meaning of intent.”
On a motion from Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly, the committee agreed on a divided voice vote to forward HB 473 to the full House with a recommendation that it “do pass.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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