In the northern Louisiana city of Ruston, the new Environmental Protection Agency slew of regulations, disguised as “fighting climate change,” are a killer, literally.
A peach orchard in Ruston, known as Mitcham Farms, is a family-owned business established back in 1946. The orchard, according to the owner, 68 year-old Joe Mitcham, is Louisiana’s largest peach orchard. However, Mitcham told Fox News that because of the new EPA regulations, the family business will likely close in a couple of years.
The federal government’s banning of a chemical in 2005 known as methyl bromide, used to treat diseased peach trees, has really given him no choice, as most of his trees won’t survive without it.
Many of Mitcham’s trees have already died. He’s just one of many producers across the country affected by the ban, which the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates is costing the agriculture industry in southern states up to $1.5 billion a year. The American Farm Bureau Federation also has told Congress the restrictions on the chemical will hurt crop production.
The EPA says that using methyl bromide threatens the earth’s ozone layers. And besides having to close his doors in a couple of years, Mitcham said the regulations have already forced him to fire more than half his staff, from 60 employees to 20.