Monday, February 14, 2011

Just in from Washington

EPA and Green House Gas Regs Jolts American Ag

Washington--America’s farmers and ranchers will receive a “double economic jolt” from the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases, testified Philip Nelson, president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation, before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power on Wednesday.

“First, any costs incurred by utilities, refiners, manufacturers and other large emitters to comply with GHG regulatory requirements will be passed on to the consumers of those products, including farmers and ranchers,” Nelson explained. “As a result, our nation’s farmers and ranchers will have higher input costs, namely fuel and energy costs, to grow food, fiber and fuel for our nation and the world.”

The Illinois farm leader said EPA’s regulations could increase fertilizer prices for farmers because the rules outline a larger role for natural gas, replacing coal and other fossil fuels. Natural gas is a principal component in fertilizer production.

Nelson said the second “jolt” to agriculture will come when regulation is fully phased in under EPA’s “tailoring” approach, under which farms and ranches that emit, or have the potential to emit, more than 100 tons of greenhouse gases per year must obtain a Title V operating permit. Based on EPA’s numbers, he said, just the expense of obtaining permits would cost agriculture more than $866 million.

AFBF news release

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