The Senate is expected to vote this week on a motion to proceed on S. J. Res. 26, a “Resolution of Disapproval” of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas “endangerment finding.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is urging the Senate to stand up for American agriculture by supporting this bipartisan resolution.
S.J. Res, by Senators Murkowski (R-AK) and Lincoln (D-AR), would prevent the EPA from trumping Congress and unilaterally regulating greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act-a move that would be devastating to the U.S. economy in general, and agriculture in particular.
Despite a lack of verifiable science showing that GHGs are somehow the result of manmade activities, rather than a naturally-occurring phenomenon, the EPA has decided to move forward on its recent finding that GHGs are an “endangerment to public health and welfare.” This finding provides the foundation for EPA to regulate GHGs from small and large sources throughout the economy-including farms, hospitals, office buildings and schools-under the CAA. The CAA is ill-equipped to address climate change, and it was never the intent of Congress that it be used for this purpose.
It would be irresponsible to allow the EPA to move forward on this type of regulation when there’s so much uncertainty surrounding humans’ contribution to climate change. S. J. Res. 26 would in effect reverse EPA’s finding, and instead allow the complex issue of climate change to be handled through thoughtful Congressional debate. In these challenging economic times, we cannot afford to take actions that further jeopardize the ability of the U.S. to remain competitive in the global marketplace.
In addition to supporting the Murkowski-Lincoln resolution and similar legislation introduced in the House, NCBA and the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. (“the Coalition”) have taken legal action to prevent EPA from moving forward on devastating greenhouse gas regulation. In December, 2009, the Coalition filed petitions with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and EPA challenging the science behind the initial “endangerment finding,” and in April, 2010, the Coalition filed an appeal against the so-called “Johnson Memo” interpreting when GHGs become subject to the federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit program. The Coalition’s most recent appeal, filed late last week, challenges the EPA’s tailpipe standards for greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted by Russell Nemetz