LINCOLN — Recently, Governor Pete Ricketts requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remove unnecessary rules that regulate CO2 emissions from the processing and use of agricultural feedstocks. Gov. Ricketts joined with the Governors of Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, and North Dakota to co-author a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, asking for an end to the burdensome regulations.
“We respectfully request that you prioritize regulatory reform clarifying that biogenic CO2 emissions from processing and use of agricultural feedstocks…are not pollutants subject to regulation under the federal Clean Air Act,” wrote the Governors. “Removal of this regulatory barrier is key to unlocking investment in the 21st century bioeconomy in rural areas across America.”
In the wake of a 2009 Endangerment Finding on the environmental impact of greenhouse gases, the EPA claimed jurisdiction to regulate CO2 emissions from agricultural crops. Subsequent EPA rules imposed a burden on ag producers to go through a permitting process. The regulations also placed them at risk of being sued for processing or using feedstocks. The net result has been to delay some bio-economic development projects, and to prevent others from ever happening at all.
The EPA persisted in the regulations despite being cautioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that biogenic CO2 is carbon neutral and therefore not liable to governmental oversight.
The Governors’ letter is available by clicking here.
— Office of Governor Pete Ricketts
For more news from Nebraska, click here.