SPARKS VOICES OPPOSITION TO EPA LIVESTOCK FEE PROPOSAL
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Ron Sparks, commissioner of Alabama's Department of Agriculture and Industries, has criticized a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to charge mandatory permit fees in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"The EPA would, in effect, put our livestock producers and dairy farmers out of business," said Sparks. "At a time when we are becoming more and more reliant on other countries for our food, we should be looking for ways to help farmers, not punish them for producing the food we put on the table for our families."
The proposal would affect any farm or ranch with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs by requiring permit fees based on tonnage of greenhouse gas emissions, which is based on emitting 100 tons or more of carbon per year.
According to the American Farm Bureau, the fee and/or tax would result in about $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle and $20 for each hog annually.
Sparks, who is president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), also stated that NASDA will be submitting comments to the EPA opposing this proposal. The commissioner also urges all producers to make a public response at www.epa.gov/lawsregs/howto/index.html to the EPA by the Nov. 28, 2008 deadline.
Producers can also voice their opposition by visiting the Action Alert area of www.AlfaFarmers.org.