Oral arguments for the petition filed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and other members of the Coalition for Responsible Regulation were heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Feb. 28 and Feb. 29. The litigation challenges the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) finding that greenhouse gases (GHG) endanger public health and welfare, its rule to limit GHG from passenger vehicles and its “timing” and “tailoring” rules that govern GHG permit applicability at stationary sources. NCBA President J.D. Alexander issued the following statement following the oral arguments.
“The fact EPA decided to impose a backdoor energy tax by regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act is unacceptable and scientifically unfounded. We are hopeful the U.S. Court of Appeals will put a stop to the aggressive agenda-driven regulations that never should have been promulgated in the first place.
“Congress debated and rejected a cap and trade program for greenhouse gases. EPA’s regulations are an attempt to force greenhouse gas regulations down the throats of the American people without congressional approval. We challenged EPA in court to take power away from the agency’s unelected bureaucrats and put it back into the hands of the American people.
“Agriculture is an energy intensive sector of the U.S. economy. Any regulation that is designed to make gasoline and electricity more expensive will have a direct, negative impact on farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to be profitable while also providing safe and affordable food for a growing population.
“The livestock industry works hard every day to be good stewards of the land and environment. But imposing energy taxes through EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases will mean fewer jobs, higher food costs and less growth and innovation. These are regulations we simply can’t afford and we hope the court will put a stop to EPA’s activist tactics.”