Crucial Senate vote on greenhouse gas imminent (updated)

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Dairy Herd Management has learned that according to key Senate staff, a vote on Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) resolution of disapproval, S.J. Res 26, is expected as soon as next week. This legislation would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from continuing their efforts to regulate greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). 

Farmers are urged to contact their Congressman or Congresswoman to show support for this measure.
 
The National Milk Producers Federation joined 137 other agriculture organizations in a letter to Sen. Murkowski supporting her introduction of the resolution. The groups stated that such regulatory actions would carry severe consequences for the U.S. economy, including America’s farmers and ranchers, through increased input costs and international market disparities.

NMPF notes that if this resolution fails, nearly 99 percent of all U.S. dairy farms could be hit with new EPA regulations.

EPA may have set out to regulate only mobile sources (motor vehicles) with their “endangerment finding,” but the overlapping triggers within the CAA will immediately extend the agency’s regulatory reach to stationary sources as well — giving it authority to regulate all GHG emissions.

EPA has estimated that about 6 million buildings, farms, factories, landfills and other establishments will ultimately be captured by these regulations. According to the EPA, some 3.9 million single-family homes would be regulated at the CAA's explicit statutory thresholds. Regulated entities would be subject to an inflexible regulatory process that required new permits to be acquired before facilities are built or modified, and in many cases, “best available control technologies” to be purchased, installed and operated.

At this time, there are 40 co-sponsors signed on to the legislation, and it has support from members of both political parties. Unlike many other measures in the Senate, the resolution only requires 51 votes to succeed.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is circulating a letter for farmers to sign and send to their Senator. Find it here. Note that this information says that your action is needed by June 7. Strike that. Action is needed by the close of business today, or by noon on Monday, May 17 at the latest.



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