The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, fearing potential penalties related to greenhouse gas emissions, has filed a challenge to EPA’s endangerment finding on GHG gases.
The petition, filed Dec. 23 in the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals, said that EPA climate regulations would harm the profitability of large farms, reports Reuters.
If cattle operations had to purchase permits to emit greenhouse gases, many would be forced to close, said Tamara Theis, Chief Environmental Counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
The association also says that the EPA endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act may make it easier for activist groups to sue large and small businesses, including cattle ranches, reports Farm Futures.
The petition asks that the court overturn the endangerment finding, alleging unsound science.
In early December, the beef association issued a statement on the EPA rule, calling it “premature.”
“Regulation of greenhouse gases should be based on science, and it should be thoughtfully considered and voted on by Congress through a democratic process, not dictated by the EPA,” Thies said.
Citing EPA statistics, the association notes that 2007 agriculture GHG emissions comprised less than 6 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions in Tg CO2 Eq, while land use, land use change, and forestry activities resulted in a net carbon soil sequestration of about 14.9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
However, Nathan Pelletier of Dalhousie University in Canada said that while beef only accounts for 30 percent of meat consumption in the developed world, it’s responsible for 78 percent of the emissions. A single kilogram of beef produces 16 kilograms CO2 equivalent emissions: four times higher than pork and more than ten times more than a kilogram of poultry.