Now, they're calling it a "myth."

We're talking about EPA and its announcement yesterday that the agency is putting an end to the "myth" that it plans to regulate farm dust.

According to published reports, in letters to two senators last week, Administrator Lisa Jackson said that the agency wouldn’t expand its current air quality standards to include dust created by agriculture.

Why EPA raises this issue now is because Republicans and some farm-state Democrats are talking about the issue on the campaign trail, arguing that the EPA is set to penalize farmers for everyday activities. Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said in a recent debate that the agency is "out of control" and was preparing to regulate dust.

According to the Associated Press story on October 17, a statement released by the agency Monday said, "EPA hopes that this action finally puts an end to the myth that the agency is planning to expand regulations of farm dust."

I can see why they would address the issue — because they were called out for considering things that are just plain stupid, but to call it a "myth?"

If this were just some fairytale, why did 21 senators sign a July 23 letter to EPA that stated, "If approved, [such rules] would establish the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation's history."

The Senators' letter goes on to say, "We respect efforts for a clean and healthy environment, but not at the expense of common sense. These identified levels will be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain. Whether it's livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall, or driving a car down the gravel road, dust is a naturally occurring event."

To say now that they weren't considering such a standard only further strains this agency's credibility. It's becoming increasingly obvious that integrity is not part of the U.S. EPA's mission statement.

It's also becoming increasingly obvious that it's only by exposing such proposals to the light of day that they become recognized for what they are — ridiculous and counterproductive. Free and open discussion and dissent are the only defense against attempts by government to further regulate our lives and our businesses.