A wide array of U.S. agriculture groups signed a Jan. 20 letter to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski supporting her introduction of a “resolution of disapproval” regarding EPA’s pledge to increase regulation of greenhouse gases.

The letter came on the same day the National Corn Growers Association announced it would oppose 2009 cap and trade legislation that passed the House (for more, see NCGA opposes House cap and trade).

The letter reads:

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.

Sincerely,

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