|Washington, D.C., December 8, 2009 —“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an endangerment finding confirming greenhouse gasses (GHG) as pollutants dangerous to human health and welfare, that should be regulated under the Clean Air Act,” said Jon Scholl, President of American Farmland Trust. “In addition, it appears that EPA in the next few months will be issuing rules that regulate emissions from on-road vehicles that contribute to that threat and will continue the process of regulating stationary sources of GHG emissions.”
The endangerment finding comes as no surprise to American Farmland Trust. “We’ve noted throughout the climate change and clean energy debate that in the absence of a legislative solution to address GHG, EPA will have to enact regulations that respond to the 2007 Supreme Court case on the topic. Pure and simple, regulations will come at a cost. That’s why it’s critical that agriculture engage in efforts to construct legislation to capture the stewardship and economic opportunities under a cap & trade system, and in clean energy legislation in general,” added Scholl.
Regulations which have thus far been proposed by EPA do not appear to directly impact the overwhelming majority of agricultural productions directly (it is possible that some agricultural processors and large CAFO’s might be regulated), yet regulations will create an indirect cost on agriculture as the price of fertilizer, fuel and other inputs increases as the sources of these products are regulated.
“I take EPA Administrator Jackson and President Obama at their word,” says Scholl. “They would prefer to see a legislative solution to this critical issue. We agree that legislation is preferred because we strongly believe that both regulation and legislation will come with costs. Only a comprehensive legislative solution can control these costs and create opportunities for farmers to generate income, for example, by stimulating development and research into alternative energy sources.”
"While the world’s attention is focused on the United Nations Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen, I urge my fellow farmers to not take lightly the importance of this EPA announcement, to watch carefully the information and global response to the meetings in Copenhagen, and to engage in finding a legislative solution to one of the defining societal resource issues of our time. It is in the vital interest of every farmer and rancher to be engaged in this issue and to help shape the future. If done correctly, we can deal with this environmental threat while maximizing agriculture’s opportunities and minimizing costs,” concludes Scholl.
American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and supporting a sustainable future for farms. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.
AFT’s national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.