Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today highlighted a letter sent by agricultural groups in South Dakota and across the nation expressing support for a Senate resolution of disapproval under the terms of the Congressional Review Act to be offered by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The resolution formally states the Senate's disapproval of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) endangerment finding, which would pave the way for expensive regulations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. If Congress approves a resolution of disapproval, it would effectively stop the EPA from moving forward with regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.

"Agriculture groups in South Dakota and across the country are tuned in to just how damaging this rule will be for agricultural producers," said Thune. "The EPA is unilaterally going around Congress in drafting new carbon dioxide regulations and is attempting to use a law written 20 years ago for an entirely different purpose. Congress must act to block this backdoor tax on energy intensive industries like agriculture."

The letter is signed by 138 agricultural groups nationwide, including the South Dakota Agri-Business Association, the South Dakota Farm Bureau, the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, the South Dakota Grain and Feed Association, South Dakota Wheat, Inc., and the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. Senator Thune plans to cosponsor the Murkowski resolution of disapproval once introduced. The full text of the letter follows:

January 20, 2010

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Murkowski:

The agricultural organizations listed below support your introduction of a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act regarding the decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move forward on regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Such regulatory actions will carry severe consequences for the U.S. economy, including America's farmers and ranchers, through increased input costs and international market disparities.

Both the current and past Administrations have acknowledged that the CAA is not the appropriate vehicle for establishing greenhouse gas policy. However, this EPA finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare will trigger CAA regulatory actions such as application of National Ambient Air Quality Standards, New Source Performance Standards, and provisions of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V programs, essentially establishing greenhouse gas policy through the CAA by default. The compliance costs for these CAA programs would be overwhelming as millions of entities, including farms and ranches, would be subject to burdensome CAA regulations. While EPA has attempted to craft a "tailoring rule" to ease such a burden, our experience in these matters is that attempts to administratively relax environmental requirements are routinely challenged in court.

The EPA rule itself claims to establish only a weak, indirect link between greenhouse gases and public health and welfare, going so far as to admit there are uncertainties over the net, direct health impacts of the greenhouse gases it is attempting to regulate. Further, EPA Administrator Jackson recently acknowledged that unilateral actions by the United States would have no material impact on global warming. China and India, two of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, continue to reject any verifiable reduction measures. Without an effective international agreement on emission reductions, unilateral action by the U.S. only serves to further damage our economy and encourage businesses to relocate. EPA's finding puts the agricultural economy at grave risk based on allegations of a weak, indirect link to public health and welfare and despite the lack of any environmental benefit.

For these reasons, we strongly support your efforts to prevent EPA from moving forward with its endangerment finding and urge Senate approval of your resolution.


Alabama Soybean Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Hereford Association
American Mushroom Institute
American National CattleWomen
American Nursery and Landscape Association
American Soybean Association
American Sugarbeet Growers Association
Arizona Cattle Feeders Association
Arkansas Cattlemen's Association
Arkansas Rice Federation
Arkansas Soybean Association
Blue Diamond Growers
California Citrus Mutual
California Cotton Ginners Association
California Cotton Growers Association
California Grape & Tree Fruit League
Colorado Cattlemen's Association
Colorado Livestock Association
Colorado Potato Administrative Committee
Corn Producers Association of Texas
Cotton Warehouse Association of America
Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.
Delta Council
Florida Cattlemen's Association
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
Georgia Cattlemen's Association
Georgia Cotton Commission
Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association
Idaho Cattlemen's Association
Illinois Beef Association
Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas
Iowa Cattlemen's Association
Iowa Soybean Association
Kansas Cotton Association
Kansas Livestock Association
Kansas Soybean Association
Kentucky Soybean Association
Louisiana Cotton and Grain Association
Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation
Louisiana Rice Producers' Group
Louisiana Rice Growers Association
Maryland Cattlemen's Association
Michigan Cattlemen's Association
Minnesota Corn Growers Association
Minnesota Soybean Association
Mississippi Cattlemen's Association
Missouri Soybean Association
Montana Stockgrower's Association
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
National Chicken Council
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Milk Producers Federation
National Renderers Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Potato Council
National Sorghum Producers
National Turkey Federation
Nebraska Cattlemen
Nebraska Corn Growers Association
Nebraska Dry Bean Growers Association
Nebraska Soybean Association
Nebraska Wheat Board
Nebraska Wheat Growers Association
New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association
New Mexico Federal Lands Council
New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc.
North Carolina Cotton Producers Association
North Carolina Peanut Growers Association
Ohio Cattlemen's Association
Ohio Soybean Association
Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association
Oklahoma Cotton Council
Oregon Association of Nurseries
Oregon Potato Commission
Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association
Pennsylvania Cattlemen's Association
Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.
Sandyland Water Conservation District
Select Milk Producers
SJV Quality Cotton Growers Association
Society of American Florists
South Dakota Agri-Business Association
South Dakota Farm Bureau
South Dakota Cattlemen's Association
South Dakota Grain & Feed Association
South Dakota Wheat Inc.
South Dakota Corn Growers Association
South East Dairy Farmers Association
Southeastern Livestock Network
South Texas Cotton and Grain Association, Inc.
Southern Cotton Growers
Southern Peanut Farmers Federation
Southern Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association, Inc.
Southwest Council of Agribusiness
Sunkist Growers
Texas Agriculture Cooperative Council
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Texas Association of Agriculture Consultants
Texas Association of Dairymen
Texas Cattle Feeders Association
Texas Citrus Mutual
Texas Cotton Ginner Association
Texas Independent Ginners Association
Texas Food Producers Association
Texas Forestry Association
Texas Grain & Feed Association
Texas Nursery and Landscape Association
Texas Pest Management Association
Texas Pork Producers
Texas Poultry Federation
Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group
Texas Seed Trade Association
Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers Association
Texas Soybean Association
Texas Vegetable Association
Texas Wheat Producers Association
Tennessee Soybean Association
The Family Farm Alliance
United Egg Producers
United Fresh Produce Association
United States Beet Sugar Association
U.S. Apple Association
U.S. Rice Producers Association
USA Rice Federation
Utah Cattlemen's Association
Virginia Cattlemen's Association
Virginia Peanut Growers Association
Washington State Potato Commission
Western Growers
Western Agricultural Processors Association
Western Peanut Growers Association
Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association
Wisconsin Soybean Association