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US agriculture on the horns of a greenhouse dilemma

- Friday, September 04, 2009

US agriculture is facing a considerable dilemma in relation to climate change legislation, with some realising that the 'Waxman-Markey devil' may be preferrable to the EPA 'deep blue sea'


While many agricultural organisations are opposed to the Waxman-Markey legislation despite its generous concessions for agriculture, there is growing realisation (reports Farmpolicy.com) that the alternative might be worse.

The alternative is regulations imposed by the EPA that would not include any of the concessions for agriculture included in the Waxman-Markey legislation. The USA EPA can act to regulate greenhouse emissions because it has already obtained a ruling that greenhouse gas emissions are a danger to human health. Under the US Clean Air Act, an 'endangerment' ruling triggers legislative powers for the EPA that do not need to be considered by the Congress. As a result, the US EPA could simply move to regulate greenhouse gases, and many in US agriculture suspect that might be a worse outcome that the Waxman-Markey proposals.  
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