The American Soybean Association (ASA), along with 137 other agricultural organizations including 12 state soybean affiliates, sent a letter to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) supporting her introduction of a resolution of disapproval regarding the decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move forward on regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). ASA believes that EPA should not regulate GHG under the CAA, and that unilateral action by the U.S. will further erode our global competitiveness and have negligible impact on global warming.

“The EPA rule itself claims to establish only a weak, indirect link between GHG 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,” says ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, OH. “EPA’s finding puts the agricultural economy at risk despite the lack of any significant environmental benefit.”

Both the current and past administrations have acknowledged that the CAA is not the appropriate vehicle for establishing GHG policy. However, this EPA finding that GHG endangers 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 GHG policy through the CAA by default.

China and India, two of the largest emitters of GHG, 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.

“Such regulatory actions could carry severe consequences for the U.S. economy, including America’s farmers and ranchers, through increased input costs and international market disparities,” Joslin says. “More than half of the $33 billion U.S. soybean crop was exported last year as whole soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil. Those exports support higher prices paid to farmers, jobs in rural America and throughout the value-chain and our nation’s balance of trade.”

The ASA state soybean affiliates joining ASA in signing the letter are the Alabama Soybean & Corn Association, Arkansas Soybean Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Kansas Soybean Association, Kentucky Soybean Association, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Missouri Soybean Association, Nebraska Soybean Association, Ohio Soybean Association, Tennessee Soybean Association, Texas Soybean Association and Wisconsin Soybean Association.