U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today took to the Senate floor urging his Senate colleagues to support a bipartisan resolution disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to an endangerment finding. The measure, introduced U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), seeks to suspend the authority of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Sen. Chambliss said the actions EPA has taken and its plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is a backdoor tax on every American and would have a severe negative impact on the U.S. agriculture economy.
"This debate is about whether Congress will allow an executive branch agency - the EPA - to unleash a regulatory onslaught that within a few years will capture homes, small businesses, farms, hospitals, and apartment buildings in an expensive, intrusive and bureaucratic regulatory program," said Sen. Chambliss in his floor statement. "Congress is the appropriate branch of the federal government to debate and design a climate change policy. I do not appreciate the implied threat that if Congress does not go along with EPA, the agency will impose costly regulations. The consideration of this resolution is about preserving the traditional and constitutional role of Congress as the elected representatives of the citizens of this country to make necessary and proper laws for the nation."
Sen. Chambliss noted EPA's actions will make the future for U.S. agriculture far less bright than it should be. On their own, the endangerment finding and related regulations will cause producers to face significantly higher energy and input costs and take millions of farmland out of production, just like the House and Senate cap and trade bills. Additionally, the EPA has not provided an economic analysis of the proposed regulations is that there is no economic analysis.
"The agency hasn't even attempted to quantify the economic costs and regulatory burdens they will impose on American businesses and consumers," said Sen. Chambliss. "We have no idea what it will mean for jobs, economic growth or small businesses. Even though we can't quantify it or point to a document, it's not hard to imagine the significant costs it will impose."
Over 500 agriculture and business organizations have expressed strong support of the disapproval resolution, including: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Cattleman's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Pork Producers Council, U.S. Rice Producers Association and USA Rice Federation.
To watch Sen. Chambliss' speech, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmotKL5v8NM