Washington, D.C.—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today announced its strong support for a resolution offered by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) under the Congressional Review Act that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The resolution comes after the EPA issued an endangerment finding under the Act that greenhouse gases present a threat to human health.
“It should be clear by now that the Clean Air Act is a totally inappropriate vehicle for attempting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and I would like to applaud Senator Murkowski’s leadership in seeing this issue brought before the Senate,” said NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner. “Subjecting greenhouse gases to regulation under the act would not only be a nightmare to enforce, but has the potential to lead to higher agricultural input costs, dramatic land use changes, and a raft of other unintended consequences. In addition, if the U.S. were to take this step unilaterally, our farmers and ranchers would be at a severe disadvantage to unregulated foreign competition, further damaging the profitability of American agriculture and threatening the rural economy.”
“For those of us in the co-op community, it has been heartening to see the leadership offered on this issue by the Senate co-chairs of the Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus—Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Senator John Thune (R-S.D.),” continued Conner.
“As chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Senator Lincoln has been steadfast in defending the interests of producers on the climate change issue,” Conner said. “She realizes that any climate change bill that does not recognize the unique needs and sensitivity of productions agriculture is a bad deal for farmers, ranchers and cooperatives.”
“Senator Thune has also been at the forefront in questioning whether the supposed benefits for agriculture of any climate change bill will outweigh the costs for producers both in South Dakota and around the country,” Conner added. “NCFC looks forward to working with Senator Lincoln, Senator Thune, and Senator Murkowski as this process moves forward, and we hope that the House will take up a similar resolution, which is being offered by Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.