Lucas Introduces Bill to Stop "Cow Tax" Discussion

Mar 11, 2009

Tamara Hinton (202) 225-0184

WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Member Frank Lucas introduced a bill (H.R. 1426) that will prevent the government from requiring livestock producers to obtain Title V operating permits under the Clean Air Act. This is in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishing the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on the subject of Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act, which was released last summer. The publication outlines several regulatory options, including requiring livestock producers to obtain these operating permits. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that the fees associated with that option would cost livestock producers roughly $88 per head to comply.

The introduction of H.R. 1426 comes on the same day that an article was printed in the Washington Post regarding EPA plans to establish a nationwide system for reporting greenhouse gas emissions. This reporting system would apply to measuring greenhouse gas statistics for confined animal-feeding operations.

“I don’t think we can take any chances with this administration when it comes to putting greater burdens on our farmers and ranchers. With the release of the President’s budget, this administration has already demonstrated it is out of touch with production agriculture. I have heard from many farmers in my district who are concerned that this ‘cow tax’ will become a reality. This bill is a way to protect our livestock producers from costly and burdensome government intervention. And, it would end any and all discussion about regulating emissions from livestock under the Clean Air Act,” said Ranking Member Frank Lucas.

H.R. 1426 is a companion bill to S.527, which was introduced by Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).