Hard Road Ahead to Rein In EPA

Legislation needs to be included in other bills to have chance of passage.

Published on: Jan 7, 2011

Funding bills might play a key role in the GOP House majority's fight with the Obama EPA over greenhouse gas and other rules that may impact agriculture. Incoming House Energy Chair Fred Upton, R-Mich., has vowed publicly not to let the Obama Administration regulate what they've been unable to legislate, including greenhouse gases.

American Farm Bureau's Rick Krause says the key to reigning in such rules will be getting away from freestanding bills the President can easily veto.

"The appropriations strategy seems to be better," Krause said. "Just because of the fact that there is so many other things that they have to have in order to keep the government running, that something like this would be more acceptable, more palatable for people."

Krause notes even if a two-year freeze of EPA greenhouse gas rules survived in a Senate that now has 47 Republicans it would still have to be signed by the President, which Krause says at this stage doesn't s seem very likely.

But language to block funding for greenhouse gas permits, or simply for implementing GHG rules for stationary sources, as part of a massive spending bill would be harder for the President to stop. Krause believes the GOP is serious about reigning in spending and regulations but says it will be a challenge. There is no question that greenhouse gas rules will impact agriculture.

"Whether it's now or 2016 it's still out there, still hanging over people's heads," Krause said. "There are several court challenges to that rule and a court could rule at anytime on this and if they overturn the tailoring rule then agricultural sources are automatically affected."

Until then Krause says ag is still impacted by higher costs for fuel, fertilizer and electricity from those entities that are regulated today.