Congressman Tom Reed today voted in favor of H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas under the Clean Air Act. Under the proposed regulations family farms, small businesses and residences could be forced to pay upwards of $23,000 annually. Reed is a co-sponsor of this bill.
"Nearly 4,000 farms in New York State would have to pay this onerous fee just to continue their operations," Reed said. "This is simply one more example of the burdensome regulations placed on the backs of the citizens in our District. I ran for office to do everything in my power to spur job creation and economic growth, and passing this legislation exemplifies the House's commitment to doing so. The 29th District has such a large agricultural presence and these regulations would put our family farms in jeopardy and could pass higher prices along to consumers."
Dairy, livestock and cash crop farmers would be required to obtain these costly permits, with no evidence that any environmental benefits with be realized. Dairy farms with as few as 25 cows would be subject to the EPA regulations. However, this would not just affect farms. Any stationary source that emits greenhouse gases could also be subject to the regulation and be forced to purchase permits, meaning businesses and households would also be affected. The high cost of these permits could force businesses to shutdown and would further increase the cost of living in New York State.
"We all want clean air," Reed said. "But we cannot afford to over-regulate for the sake of regulation, and at the expense of our small family farms and small businesses. The EPA cannot even tell us how this new permitting process would change anything in terms of impact on the environment. At the very least, the EPA be able to tell us exactly why this new burdensome permit is necessary, and how it will affect us in terms of jobs and cost."