October 27, 2009
Greenhouse Gas Reporting Exemption is Essential for
American Farmers and Ranchers
House Considers Motion to Insist Exemption be included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Interior Appropriations Conference Report
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House is today considering a motion to insist on the inclusion of a House-passed provision to the Fiscal Year 2010 Interior Appropriations bill to exempt farmers and ranchers from mandatory greenhouse gas reporting regulations for livestock manure systems. These new regulations are expected to soon to be required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The exemption was originally inserted by Rep. Tom Latham in the House version of the Interior bill on a bi-partisan vote in the Appropriations Committee, and was later approved on the House floor. However, in pre-conference negotiations between House and Senate Democrat leaders, the provision was inexplicitly stripped from the legislation. Rep. Mike Simpson, Ranking Republican on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, offered the motion currently being considered on the House floor.
Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis warned that without the Latham-Simpson provision, farmers and ranchers across the country – many of whom are already struggling due to the economic downturn – would be put into even greater financial peril.
“The EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting requirement for livestock manure systems borders on the ridiculous. Without the exemption, the EPA will place an extraordinary - and expensive - burden on our farmers and ranchers. Our livestock producers are essential to our food supply and our local economies, yet without this provision Congress risks putting them out of business because of over-reaching regulations from the federal government,” Lewis said.
“This regulation will do nothing to improve the environmental health of rural America. It doesn't make manure lagoons smell any better. It doesn't protect water wells or native species. It doesn't do one thing to improve the standard of living in rural Iowa or any part of this country. But I will tell you what it does do… it significantly drives up costs for farmers and hardworking American families at a time when our country is experiencing the worst recession in a generation,” Latham said.
The EPA’s regulations on livestock manure systems would soon require producers to pay for prohibitively expensive reporting procedures – even though these emissions account for less than one percent of all emissions in the U.S. The Latham provision would exempt all livestock manure management system owners and operators from reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the EPA.