EPA spying on ranchers?

Midwest cattle farmers cry foul


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," June 1, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: So anybody think about Nebraska lately? Imagine you are a farmer or rancher and you look up and see this plane and a couple days later, you get a note in the mail that says, EPA has been flying overhead on your land and you have a discharge to, without permit letter -- well, anyway, this what is happening.

The EPA is flying overhead -- spying, basically, on farmers and ranchers. They say they are doing regulation and checking to make sure. But there's a bipartisan coalition led by Senator Johanns and Congressman Adrian Smith out there to ask EPA, what in the world are you doing?

And even -- it's so bipartisan that even Bob is in solidarity wearing dark glasses.


BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: My spyglasses because they are drones, they are flying overhead.

PERINO: No, they're not. They are taking pictures.

BECKEL: They are drones.

Here's the problem with this. The FAA has a bill that's going to allow thousands of these things to fly over the United States. The idea to use drones used to catch some terrorists in Asia and in the Middle East, to fly over the United States to spy on people is one of the great invasions of privacy, whether they do it for farmers or they do it for anything else. They are doing it now. They have some police forces supposedly checking on criminals.

These things intercept cell phone calls, text messages. These are nothing more than spy planes and they have no right --


PERINO: In Nebraska, what are they looking for?

BECKEL: Well, what is anybody looking for in Nebraska?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: Bring on, Don Johnson.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: On the border, they could be look who is coming across the border, which I think they are using.

BECKEL: In Nebraska?

BOLLING: I'm not using Nebraska. I'm saying the use --

BECKEL: No, no, they authorize --


BOLLING: But Johanns, Dana, you point, asked the right question first. They put out a big long letter. On what statutory authority does the EPA have to run these drone missions or whatever they're doing? These flyover missions.

PERINO: And, Kimberly, one of the missions is, it's a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And that was unlawful search and seizure.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Exactly. Is it a violation? I think it's a really good point. In fact, that it is. And what is the stated purpose for this except for them to try to get information to be able to sue these farmers. Environmental groups have access to what is going on. It's really -- you can't believe stuff like this is happening in this country.

PERINO: The EPA is saying, Andrea, they are saving money. That this helps them because they don't have to go on sight, they can just fly over head and see if you are breaking the law.

TANTAROS: Right. So all these flights overhead are somehow more cost-efficient?

PERINO: Not only that, but the state of Nebraska, it's responsible for the monitoring and they are supposed to report to the feds. So either they aren't doing their job or --


TANTAROS: Hold on.

BECKEL: Not just the. EPA, I'm sorry.

PERINO: But this story is about the EPA.

GUILFOYLE: She just gave you the look.

TANTAROS: I did give you the look.

This is about cow manure. Do you know what ridiculous this is? What's next?


BECKEL: They are using these things now to supposedly aid police departments in certain areas. They've got hundreds of these missions going on. It is unconstitutional. It's using spy planes that by the way are controlled by the military.

PERINO: Let me tell you one other thing they are worried about.

This will fit right into your conspiratorial world. Is the EPA sharing this information with any groups that might want to shut town farming or animal welfare groups or things like that?

BOLLING: There's a -- Bob, may I? She said Eric.

There are a lot of people who think there's a whole social engineering thing going on in the White House. There's the Agenda 21 from the U.N. There's the also the White House rural council. They are gathering information to bring people closer to the cities. You know, a lot more eyeballs they can keep on them, a lot more efficiencies in the water.

PERINO: There was somebody from one of the groups, one of the farming groups that said he actually saw some of the pictures and it allayed his concerns. But I'm concern about the slippery slope.

TANTAROS: Wasn't it the left hand jumping up and down when the Patriot Act was happening, which was actually not spying on cow dung, it was spying on suspected terrorists. Now it's OK in the name of the environment.

PERINO: And that's what Greg Gutfeld will call, oh, never mind, then.


PERINO: We've got to go but we will come back to you.

BECKEL: I'm so shocked that Eric interrupted.

PERINO: Well, he had been said a word yet.

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