See the Cattle Network news article..
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is extremely concerned about the potential impacts that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent greenhouse gas (GHG) ruling could have on agriculture operations. EPA's decision, announced on Monday, claims that GHG emissions are an endangerment to public health and the environment. This sets the stage for greenhouse regulation under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and would give the EPA unprecedented control over every sector of the U.S. economy..
The endangerment finding does not itself regulate GHGs; but unless Congress acts, it sets in motion EPA regulation of GHGs from stationary sources and the setting of new source performance standards for GHGs.
On October 27, 2009, EPA proposed a rule designed to regulate GHG emissions from sources that emit 25,000 tons per year or more, instead of the statutory 250 tons per year threshold for pollutants which is included in the Clean Air Act. The extent to which EPA can change statutory permitting requirements, however, is unclear. Only time will tell how our federal courts will address citizen suits to force regulation of all sources that emit GHGs in excess of the statutory thresholds. EPA indicated that it also would be developing an approach to regulate GHGs from hundreds of thousands of small operations, including farms and buildings.
While agricultural sources are currently generally not required to obtain permits for greenhouse gas emissions, regulation of GHGs under the CAA may for the first time trigger such regulation. Given the fact that America currently has over 2,000,000 farms, it would be virtually impossible to permit a majority of them. It would also impose massive regulatory compliance costs on producers, which could force many operations out of business...