The Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding states that greenhouse gases, most significantly carbon dioxide, are a dangerous pollutant and need to be regulated under the Clean Air Act. While the finding itself does not regulate carbon dioxide, it commences a long process to curb greenhouse gas emissions, beginning with tailpipe emissions this March and later expanding to all types of business. Those who want to challenge the EPA’s endangerment finding have until February 16th to file a petition in the in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. On December 23rd, the The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) filed its petition; Tamara Thies, chief environmental counsel said,
“EPA’s finding is not based on a rigorous scientific analysis; yet it would trigger a cascade of future greenhouse gas regulations with sweeping impacts across the entire U.S. economy. Why the Administration decided to move forward on this type of rule when there’s so much uncertainty surrounding humans’ contribution to climate change is perplexing.
Instead of letting the issue of climate change, and man’s alleged contribution to it, be addressed through the proper democratic legislative process, EPA has decided to trump Congress and mandate greenhouse gas regulation under the Clean Air Act.
As was evident during difficult negotiations over the past two weeks in Copenhagen, other countries around the world like China and India are unwilling to tie the hands of their economic engines and impose these kinds of costs on their citizens. This unilateral move by the EPA jeopardizes our ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. In fact, NCBA’s statement has many of the same arguments we made when the EPA first made its endangerment finding last April. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis modeled of the economic effects of carbon dioxide regulations and found cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses of $7 trillion by 2029 (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars), single-year GDP losses exceeding $600 billion in some years (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars), energy cost increases of 30 percent or more, and annual job losses exceeding 800,000 for several years. Hit particularly hard is the carbon-intensive manufacturing sector, which will see job losses in some industries that exceed 50 percent.
Farming is another energy-intensive industry with its fuel, chemical, electricity and natural gas-derived fertilizer costs – not to mention the methane from “cow emissions.” Greenhouse gas regulations’ potentially disastrous effect on farmers should raise a red flag for those in the farm belt and will put U.S. agriculture at a tremendous competitive disadvantage. If these costly regulations move forward, soon beef won’t be what’s for dinner.