Many of America's farmers and ranchers will face economic challenges due to the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to regulate greenhouse gases, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Carl Shaffer, president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, testified on behalf of AFBF before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power on Tuesday.
"Costs incurred by utilities, refiners, manufacturers and other large emitters to comply with GHG regulatory requirements will be passed on to the consumers of those products, including farmers and ranchers," Shaffer said. "The end result is that our nation's farmers and ranchers will be forced to contend with higher input costs to grow food, fiber and renewable fuels."
Shaffer said farmers will face another economic hit when regulations are fully phased in under EPA's "tailoring" approach which will apply to farms and ranches that emit, or have the potential to emit, more than 100 tons of greenhouse gases per year. Those farms and ranches will be required to apply for and obtain a Title V operating permit. Based on EPA's numbers, Shaffer said just the expense of obtaining permits would cost agriculture more than $866 million.
In his testimony, Shaffer expressed Farm Bureau's support for the House-passed Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which prevents EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Farm Bureau opposes the regulation of greenhouse gases by EPA under the Clean Air Act.