Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just in from Washington

Jake Putnam photo

Simpson Offers Motion to Help America’s Farmers
Washington, D.C. - Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, Ranking Member of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, offered a motion on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to protect farmers from greenhouse gas reporting requirements put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Simpson’s motion instructs conferees who are working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Act for FY2010 to include a provision that was included in the House-passed bill. The provision prohibits funds in the bill from being used to implement any rule requiring mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock manure.

“The livestock industry is being hammered by the downturn in our national economy,” said Simpson. “Frozen credit markets have left farmers and ranchers without the credit they need to run their day-to-day operations, and many have been forced to sell their land or declare bankruptcy. Now is not the time to pile the regulatory burden onto these operations, forcing even more of them to fail.”

According to the EPA, livestock manure management systems account for less than one percent of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., yet the cost to producers of regulating these emissions is extremely expensive and burdensome. The EPA currently only exempts manure management systems that emit less than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gasses annually.

“Right now, farmers and ranchers are hanging on by a thread,” Simpson said. “If we doom too many American farmers to failure through overzealous regulation, we will quickly find ourselves dependent on other countries’ farmers to meet our needs.”

The conference report on the Interior Appropriations bill is expected to be considered by the House later this week.

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