Recent Press Releases

Thune Responds to EPA Endangerment Finding

Rash Decision Would Hurt Economy, Particularly Rural States

December 7, 2009

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune made the following statement in response to the endangerment finding issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that classifies for the first time carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions as pollutants under the Clean Air Act:

“This decision lays the groundwork for EPA to undercut large portions of our economy. The Clean Air Act was written a long time ago to curb pollution from smokestack industries, not to regulate emissions from ethanol plants, manufacturing facilities, or even our livestock industry. Instead of unilateral action through the EPA, the Obama Administration should work with Congress to pass bipartisan energy legislation that promotes clean energy, lowers energy costs, and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.”

In September, Senator Thune and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced an amendment to the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that would have prohibited the EPA from taxing carbon emissions from stationary sources, such as power plants, refineries, and factories if those taxes would result in higher electricity or gasoline prices for consumers.

In March, Senator Thune and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced S. 527, a bipartisan bill that would prevent the government from imposing a "cow tax" on farmers and ranchers across the country. Late last year, the EPA discussed regulating greenhouse gases in its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, which could include requiring farmers to purchase expensive permits. The "cow tax" would cost South Dakota farmers an estimated $367 million -- or $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per beef cow, and $20 per hog -- fees that would be extremely detrimental to the livestock industry and family farmers.

“It is unfortunate that during a period of record high unemployment the EPA would pave the way for new regulations that will slow economic growth and destroy American jobs,” added Thune.