Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My comment to the EPA

As a follow up to my previous post "Animal Agriculture Under Attack", I have submitted a comment to the EPA in regards to this proposed rule using Capwiz Action Alert. I would encourage anyone in animal agriculture, or any consumer that enjoys meat and dairy products, to submit a comment. The text of my personal comment is listed below:
I oppose a new proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency that would charge livestock owners a fee for alleged greenhouse gas emissions produced by their animals. This proposal is essentially a tax on livestock operations under EPA’s presumptive minimum rate and would have no net effect on the reduction of greenhouse gases. However, this proposal would have a profoundly negative effect on the agricultural economy and would endanger the food supply for all Americans.

I am an Alabama dairyman farming in partnership with my father, and together we are proud to provide a safe, nutritious product to the American public which is essential for proper growth and maintained health. The USDA recommends that all Americans should consume three servings of dairy products daily.

Implementation of this rule would affect both producers and consumers alike. The economic impact on the farm will lead to a reduction in productivity and profitability, resulting over time in a decreased supply of meat and dairy products. Consumers, in turn, would have to pay a much higher price for these products. A decline in the availability of affordable, safe, nutritious foodstuffs would have the net effect of more of our countrymen suffering from hunger and/or malnutrition. Our country would become reliant on others to provide lower-quality alternatives to these products, and we would ultimately find ourselves in a situation similar to our current energy crisis.

I applaud the EPA for its efforts to stabilize and improve our environment. As a steward of the environment, I recognize that we in agriculture should and do adhere to certain standards pertaining to our air, ground, and water. However, I believe all laws, rules, and public policies must take into account the “big picture” net effect on our country. Going forward, I hope the EPA will work with people within the animal agriculture community to find solutions that are grounded in both good science and common sense, so as not to set rules and standards that will effectively weaken or destroy our nation’s domestic supply of meat and dairy products.

I strongly oppose this new proposal, and would appreciate the EPA’s consideration to no longer seek its adoption and implementation.

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