Monday, May 3, 2021

Rare political agreement in U.S.

In a rare political agreement, a Democrat and a Republican senator jointly introduced a bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating methane emissions from livestock.

Their move comes after dozens of environmental protection groups petitioned the government to set limits on methane from large dairy and hog farms.

South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune and Arizona Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema drafted bill that would prohibit the EPA from issuing permits for carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, water vapor or methane emissions from livestock production.

“Livestock producers are working to improve efficiency and reduce emissions from their operations,” Thune said in a news release. “They should not be subject to onerous regulations and costly permit fees for their animals’ emissions.” 

Thune first introduced the bill in 2009 with New York Democrat Chuck Schumer, who is now the Democrats’ leader in the Senate, and the restriction has been included in annual appropriations legislation ever since, according to his office

Agriculture overall accounted for 10 per cent of 2019 U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, traced back to such sources as agricultural soils and rice production as well as livestock, according to the EPA.