Farmers and ranchers have been innovating for decades. As a result, they are reducing their environmental footprint, including reducing carbon emissions through modern agricultural techniques that produce food more efficiently. With some scientists predicting greater occurrences of extreme weather, Farm Bureau believes that there are tools and solutions that will make obstacles and variability in weather less challenging without hindering our productivity or harming the U.S. economy.
Environmental organizations and some scientists contend that greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activities are the principal cause for an increase in average global temperatures. They argue that unless measures are taken to reduce these emissions, the cumulative effect over coming decades will result in adverse changes in the world’s climate and weather. (GHGs include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane as well as water vapor.) While few agree on what scenarios may occur decades or even a century from now, most industrialized nations, including the U.S., are actively seeking ways to reduce carbon emissions.
The United States acting alone cannot make a difference on global temperatures or stop devastating weather events. Imposing regulations based on unproven technologies or science causes increased costs to produce food, feed, fuel and fiber without measurably addressing the issue of climate.
Rather, Farm Bureau supports policies and incentives that encourage the production and utilization of biofuels and renewable energy, which help reduce GHGs, create American jobs and encourage rural development. Increased biofuel production also diversifies our energy portfolio to make America more secure and resilient to the increasing costs for energy. Having the best technology, traits and production practices will be more beneficial than burdening the economy with additional regulations.
House passed cap-and-trade legislation
Legislation to reduce GHG emissions by mandating a cap-and-trade program passed the House, but was not taken up by the Senate. Since then, there has been much discussion and executive branch action to address GHG emissions.
President Obama released his climate action plan
The president released his climate action plan, and directed EPA to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.
EPA finalizes Clean Power Plan
EPA finalized rules requiring future coal fired power plants to reduce their carbon emissions and utilize carbon capture and storage technologies and addition new regulations for existing power plants.
Supreme Court action
The Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan pending judicial review.
Farm Bureau fights to protect affordable sources of energy
Farm Bureau opposes EPA’s proposed rules as they will restrict the construction of new coal fired electric generating units, and create a burdensome regulatory framework for existing power plants and regulation of other industries in the future.
In the absence of an international agreement to which all nations are committed, we do not believe the United States should saddle the U.S. economy with costs and regulations that will not result in a meaningful impact on the climate.