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Resolution 2009-7

Resolution Urging the Exemption of Farms Under EPA Clean Air Rules

WHEREAS: the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA regulating automobile emissions, requires EPA to make a finding that greenhouse gases are pollutants that endanger public health, thus granting EPA the authority to regulate automobile emissions; and

WHEREAS: the Environmental Protection Agency has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for regulating greenhouse gases under the federal Clean Air Act; and

WHEREAS: as the rules are written, the threshold of 100 tons meant for previously regulated pollutants will impact many more entities for greenhouse gases; and

WHEREAS: once this occurs, it would automatically trigger other Clean Air Act provisions requiring regulation of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that would seriously impact agriculture; and

 WHEREAS: the EPAÕs presumptive minimum rate could result in taxes of more than $175 per year for each dairy cow, $87.50 per head for beef cattle and $20 for each hog; and

 WHEREAS: with the volatility in agricultural prices, additional taxes and fees could put many producers out of business and create more need for oversees livestock production and importing food; and

WHEREAS: as state legislators, we are committed to vibrant and healthy rural economies and do not believe that the Clean Air Act is appropriate for regulating the natural biological emissions from cattle and pigs; and 

WHEREAS: were US farms to go out of business the economic damage to livestock producers would be huge, the loss of open lands and forests of farm operations as well as the importation/transportation of food products would actually increase carbon emissions.

Now Therefore Be It Resolved: that State Agricultural and Rural Leaders urge Congress and the administration exempt farms and ranches from the requirements of the Clean Air Act, and

Be It Further Resolved: that a copy of this resolution be sent to The United States Congress, Secretary of Agriculture, and the Agricultural Committees of the States.