In a harbinger of environmental battles to come, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals this week, saying EPA climate regulations would hurt large farms. The EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases is seen by many as a proxy regulatory measure for the Climate Bill whose regulations may be too little too late.
While it's not terribly surprising that the NCBA would petition against the EPA's measures, it does beg the question of whether any industry who might come under the regulatory purview of the EPA (or congress or anyone else for that matter), will be remotely compliant? When will these industries comprehend that reducing greenhouse emissions means changing practices?
The supposed basis of the NCBA's gripes is the yet-to-be-determined role of humans in climate change. Tamara Thies, chief environmental counsel for the association says this:
EPA's finding is not based on a rigorous scientific analysis; yet it would trigger a cascade of future greenhouse gas regulations with sweeping impacts across the entire U.S. economy....Why the Administration decided to move forward on this type of rule when there's so much uncertainty surrounding humans' contribution to climate change is perplexing.
Apparently Thies missed the memo from the IPCC that determined that anthropogenic greenhouse gases--in particular CO2 and Methane--are chiefly responsible for our warming planet. To deem this regulation "perplexing" for an industry whose contribution to overall global greenhouse emissions may be as much as 51% is, well, perplexing.
Thies also complained that EPA rules could force many farms to get permits to emit greenhouse gases, which could slow down production or jeopardize competitiveness in the global marketplace.
What she misses is context: that the rapid increase of meat production by large farms as well as an ever-fattening global marketplace is the problem. That maybe, just maybe, fewer large farms, less competition, less greenhouse emissions and less meat in the global diet would not be such a bad thing.