Thursday, March 3, 2011

Just in from Washington


AFBF Backs Bills to Preempt EPA Greenhouse Gas Regs


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2010 – The American Farm Bureau Federation supports legislation introduced today in both the House and the Senate that would preempt regulation of greenhouse gases by the Environmental Protection Agency based on climate change considerations.


The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 was introduced today in the House by Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). In the Senate, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, introduced a companion bill.


In separate letters sent today to Upton and Inhofe, AFBF President Bob Stallman commended the lawmakers for introducing the legislation and pledged to work with them in achieving passage. Stallman said the legislation is important because it would prevent EPA from regulating GHGs without prior congressional approval.


“The regulation of GHG does not fit within the current framework of the Clean Air Act. Unlike other regulated pollutants, where Clean Air Act thresholds are sufficient to regulate the largest emitters, GHG regulation at statutorily required thresholds holds the prospect of costly and burdensome permit requirements on farms, ranches, schools, hospitals and some large residences,” Stallman wrote.


Farmers and ranchers will be particularly disadvantaged under such a regulatory scheme, according to Stallman.


“The costs incurred by utilities, refiners and manufacturers to comply with GHG regulations will be passed along to their customers, including farmers and ranchers, increasing their fuel, fertilizer and energy costs,” Stallman said. “Unlike other types of businesses, farmers and ranchers have much less ability to pass along such costs.”


“Additionally, many farmers and ranchers may eventually be required to obtain costly and burdensome Title V operating permits and other permits pursuant to the thresholds set by the Clean Air Act. EPA itself estimates that more than 37,000 farms will be subject to Title V permits, at a cost of more than $866 million,” Stallman said.

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