Mary Thomas Hart says Livestock Regulatory Protection Act is a Top Priority for NCBA

Fri, 09 Sep 2022 08:54:08 CDT
Mary Thomas Hart says Livestock Regulatory Protection Act is a Top Priority for NCBA

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with Deputy Environmental Council for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Mary Thomas Hart, talking about the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act.

“The Livestock Regulatory Protection Act is a piece of bipartisan legislation that was actually introduced at the beginning of 2021 by Senators Thune, Boseman, Sinema and Kelly from Arizona in an attempt to codify some language that we had in the appropriations package for about the last 12 years,” Hart said. “This bill seeks to codify language that protects livestock producers from regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the clean air act.”

The LRPA is designed to be a deterrent, especially when it comes to those looking towards animal agriculture when it comes to methane.

“Especially in this administration, we have seen a real focus on climate change, on methane emissions, on greenhouse gas emissions regulation generally, and the EPA has really taken a strong stance on using the clean air act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions,” Hart said. “Now, they were smacked down by the Supreme Court earlier this year, but I think that when something like that happens, EPA just goes back to the drawing board. So, EPA just continues to look at the clean air act and say, ‘how can we use this to effectively regulate greenhouse gas emissions,’ and the more creative the agency gets, the more risk I think is presented to agriculture producers.”

While agricultural producers aren’t regulated under the Clean Air Act right now, Hart says it is still important to be proactive in terms of protection.

“We want to always make sure we are thinking a few steps ahead and that is what the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act would do,” Hart said. “This is certainly an interesting piece of legislation and there is a question about which committee has jurisdiction over it.”

At the end of the day, Hart said even though it is a bill that impacts agricultural producers, it is an environmentally related bill, so it would put a limitation on EPA, therefore it falls under the jurisdiction of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

“While the bill may not get passed into law before the end of the session, I think that it speaks really strongly to the importance of retaining this language in the annual appropriations package,” Hart said. “Showing that these provisions that protect farmers and ranchers are bipartisan in nature goes a long way to ensuring that the appropriations committee retains them in the final piece of legislation.”

There are two provisions, Hart said, in the appropriations package that have been there since 2009.

“One of those provisions is this bill’s language exactly,” Hart said. “It prevents EPA from regulating livestock greenhouse gas emissions under title 5 of the Clean Air Act. The other provision prevents EPA from collecting greenhouse gas emissions reporting from livestock producers across the country. So, those provisions are incredibly important and maintaining those provisions every year is one of our top priorities at NCBA.”

Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Ron Hays and Mary Thomas Hart talking about the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act.

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