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Agricultural News

Climate Change Has Chance in Lame-Duck Session

Wed, 27 Oct 2010 17:55:53 CDT

Climate change legislation could be passed during the outgoing Congress' lame-duck session that starts November 15 – but only if enough retiring senators no longer worried about re-election make a very unlikely switch to vote in favor of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. If the new Congress elected November 2nd takes a sharp turn to the right then such legislation has zero chance next year. Accordingly, all attention is focused on the EPA's greenhouse gas regulations due to take effect starting January 2.

Rick Krause, American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director for Congressional Relations, tells Agri-Pulse the organization agrees - with President Obama and Administrator Jackson that the greenhouse gas issue should be addressed by legislation and not by EPA regulation through the Clean Air Act. He says, - Farm Bureau believes that either legislative action or legal challenges in the courts will lock EPA's authority to impose new climate change regulations.

At risk in the courts is EPA’s – tailoring rule – which is designated to set higher limits, targeting only the largest emitters. Kraus says - that could result in permitting requirements for all livestock operations with over 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs, covering as much as 90 percent of U.S. livestock production. Bill Snape, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, says - the center agrees with EPA that small sources do not need to be regulated.


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