Rutledge Speaks to National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
February 2, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today spoke to State commissioners, directors and secretaries of agriculture from across the U.S. at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture winter conference in Washington, D.C. Rutledge was invited to address the gathering by Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.
“Growing up on a cattle ranch and married to a soybean farmer, I know first-hand the challenges facing this critical part of Arkansas’s economy,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This country and the world rely on America’s farmers and ranchers who provide a safe and reliable food supply and make a vital contribution to our economy. I was honored to be invited to speak by Secretary Ward, and I commend him for the work he is doing for Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers.”
“Attorney General Rutledge understands how important agriculture is to the state of Arkansas and has been a tremendous asset in helping to keep Arkansas farmers and ranchers successful and prosperous,” said Secretary Ward. “But, it's not just Arkansas, Attorney General Rutledge understands how important agriculture is to our country as a whole as demonstrated through her work as co-chair of the agriculture committee of the National Association of Attorneys General.”
Rutledge spoke to the group about her belief in common sense state and federal regulations – not ones that hurt Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers. This common sense view underlies the six legal challenges she has made to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions on behalf of Arkansas. Specifically, Rutledge highlighted her legal challenge to the EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and the so-called Clean Power Plan. Following a lawsuit against WOTUS by Rutledge and 12 other states, an injunction was put in place blocking WOTUS from taking effect until its legality can be determined. Additionally, Rutledge is concerned about the negative impacts to Arkansas and the rest of the country if the Power Plan were to be fully implemented, and she has joined a bipartisan coalition of states challenging the rules’ legality. Last week, she joined a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to stay the rule.
Rutledge also highlighted her work as the co-chair for the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture. For many years, this committee was dormant, but after Rutledge took office she immediately began encouraging her colleagues to restart the committee. Along with co-chair Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, the committee provides a venue in which attorneys general can work collaboratively to discuss and address the new challenges facing consumers, farms and the agriculture industry. Rutledge encouraged those in attendance to reach out to their own attorney general and to use this agriculture committee as a resource as they develop agriculture policy in their respective states.