Monday, EPA declared carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride – threats to public health. The American Meat Institute says it does not support EPA's endangerment finding as the rule was mostly based on future greenhouse gas concentrations, anticipated climate changes, and adverse public health and welfare effects that are expected to result from elevated temperatures, air quality changes, effects of extreme events on society, climate-sensitive diseases and aeroallergens.
Also, AMI officials say they do not support regulating GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act because it could lead to serious economic consequences not only for AMI member companies but for the entire U.S. economy. AMI believes its final rule could expose large sectors of the economy to significant corporate liability for producing products that purportedly endanger health and welfare.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association echoes the concerns of AMI. "It's premature to issue this kind of finding, especially given the recent controversy surrounding the scientific validity of alleged human contributions to climate change," said Tamara Thies, NCBA chief environmental counsel. "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."
The ruling will allow the EPA to move forward with the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles and to regulate global-warming gases even without legislation in the U.S. Congress. The final rule will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected in a few days.