Editor’s note: Following is a statement by Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, regarding the EPA endangerment finding related to climate change that was announced on Monday.
“The decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to announce an endangerment finding on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could carry severe consequences for America’s farmers and ranchers.
“We firmly believe any regulations dealing with global warming that could negatively affect our ability to produce food and fiber for our nation and the world should come through the legislative process. While more and more questions are being raised about the scientific validity of global warming models it is not the time to begin making sweeping policy decisions based on the projections offered by those climate models.
“We realize the EPA’s stated intention is to focus this finding narrowly on specific industries, using particular thresholds, but we believe there is no protection in the provisions that prevent them from being applied broadly across all sectors, including farm and ranch families who produce livestock. Due to the timing of the announcement, with the Copenhagen talks about to kickoff, we also believe this move could have more to do with political science than climate science.”
Source: American Farm Bureau Federation
A follower of our Twitter page (http://twitter.com/DairyAlert) “tweeted” this message Tuesday morning: “How many times did you breathe out CO2 while reading this post? The gov’t can now officially regulate your exhales.” The guy has a point. By declaring something a public health hazard, the government can go in and regulate it any number of ways. Regarding Monday’s “endangerment” announcement, things are still in the preliminary stage. “EPA has not given indication on regulatory direction for any industry at this time, so we are in a wait-and-see time period, but it is possible that farms will be regulated,” says Jamie Jonker, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the National Milk Producers Federation. “The one indication we have for a potential regulatory threshold from EPA were the greenhouse-gas reporting requirements released in September. Those requirements require livestock operations emitting 25,000 tons of CO2 equivalent to comply with reporting requirements. EPA stated this to be 3,200 mature dairy animals. The implementation of these reporting requirements has been delayed one year due to Congressional action,” Jonker said. – Tom Quaife, editor