Thursday, February 7, 2013

SB 1309: Soil and Water Conservation Board

Virginia Senate Bill 1309 passed the State Senate by a unanimous vote, passed a House committee vote, and is likely to become law. It authorizes a panel of unelected persons known as the Soil and Water Conservation Board to "convene stakeholder groups" of representatives of various organizations--including farmers' organizations, how thoughtful of them!--to "plan" how farmers should "manage nutrients."

Is this Agenda 21? Are death panels only one step behind? Who knows. Is this even a scheme to adapt "cap and trade" to farming, so that big industrial-type "farms" can continue to pollute as long as Grandma is not allowed to keep a few hens and sell the eggs? Who knows. This is a substantial expenditure of money that meets no urgent need, offers no great advantage, and anticipates a degree of economic stabilization or growth that seems unlikely to materialize in the near future. Even if the sole effect of SB 1309 were to create a few jobs, I'm not sure why our legislature was so quick to agree that we can afford to create those jobs.