NAWG says climate change legislation is best route
One of the arguments being used by proponents of climate change legislation is that, if Congress fails to act, the EPA most certainly will.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA has the authority to develop regulations for greenhouse gas emissions. It’s anticipated that if EPA writes the regulations, they will be much tougher than what Congress might come up with.
In that case, couldn’t Congress simply pass legislation preventing EPA from implementing regulations? Mark Gaede, environmental policy director for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), says that’s a possibility. But Gaede says there’s no guarantee that Congress would step in.
“In the past, when regulations have passed that people have considered onerous, only in a handful of cases has Congress moved to try to modify those regulations,” Gaede says. “They simply have not done that.”
So relying on Congress to change the law, Gaede says, would be risky.
“It would be a very risky path to take to just kind of abandon our legislative efforts,” he says, “and then hope that, if the EPA regulations come into effect, that we can cling to the slender reed of hope that Congress somehow is going to modify those regulations to make them less onerous.”
NAWG president Karl Scronce says the reality is that either scenario-legislation or top-down regulation-is going to be costly for farmers. But he says NAWG believes, and history suggests, that Congressional action will be much less expensive than leaving it to EPA to write the rules. He says NAWG falls on the side of giving producers the chance to mitigate their own energy costs as well as generate new markets.