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EPA livestock tax blocked by Tiahrt amendment

Farmers and Ranchers achieved an important victory late June 18 when the House Appropriations Committee adopted the Tiahrt Amendment preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating livestock as a greenhouse gas source. U.S. Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-Goddard) offered the amendment during consideration of the FY2010 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The provision blocks the EPA from mandating Clean Air Act permits for greenhouse gases emitted by livestock, including carbon dioxide and methane. The amendment was adopted with broad bipartisan support.

"Farmers and ranchers could soon face unprecedented taxes, excessive reporting requirements and hefty fees if the government decides to regulate livestock greenhouse gas sources," said Tiahrt. "By blocking the EPA from regulating livestock emissions, we won an important victory for agriculture producers whose businesses could have seen profits erased.

"President Obama has made it clear he supports regulating all greenhouse gases. If his plan is enacted, regulations and fees would strangle small and large farm operations alike. EPA permits could cost as much as $175 per milk cow and more than $85 per head for beef cattle--nearly the profit margin.

"With livestock reportedly accounting for roughly 30 percent of all agriculture greenhouse gas emissions, a federal regulation of this enormity would have devastating effects on the agriculture industry and rural communities across Kansas. Not only would farming communities face a new wave of economic hardship but food prices would likely skyrocket as a result of the costly regulations.

"No farmer or rancher should have to worry about crippling new taxes, confusing reporting requirements, or fees levied by an overzealous EPA controlled by the administration. I am pleased the House Appropriations Committee recognized this and helped ensure farmers and ranchers can operate without fear of being shut down. The last thing we want to see is family farms and ranches go out of business because of overreaching actions by the federal government."

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