Hoeven warns EPA not to regulate livestock emissions

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) warned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to regulate livestock emissions while cracking down on methane emitters.

“Imposing costly and unnecessary regulations on livestock emissions will not only hurt our livestock producers, but American families and our economy,” Hoeven said in a press release.

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Earlier this week, the Obama administration called on the EPA, Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture to produce a plan for reducing methane, a greenhouse gas.

On Tuesday, Hoeven sent a letter to the heads of the three agencies pointing out that regulations on a mid-sized dairy farm could cost the farmer more than $20,000 a year. 

Cows are one of the leading natural producers of methane gas and the administration is calling for a reduction in emissions by 2020. The EPA isn’t expected to make any regulatory decisions until summer.

Hoeven, along with several other GOP senators, urged the administration to rethink the mandate because it could increase a farmer’s productions costs.

“We need common sense rules and regulations in this nation, not one-size-fits-all mandates that don’t work in the real world,” Hoeven said. “Our farmers’ and ranchers’ livelihoods are dependent upon the land and they have a real stake in protecting the environment.”

Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and David Vitter (R-La.) signed the letter along with Hoeven.