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Senators urge agencies to halt livestock emissions regulations

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., has asked three federal agencies to halt regulations on livestock emissions.

Hoeven pressed the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency to not impose the policies that he said could cost cattle producers thousands of dollars.

“We need common-sense rules and regulations in this nation, not one-size-fits-all mandates that don’t work in the real world,” Hoeven said in a release. “Our farmers’ and ranchers’ livelihoods are dependent upon the land, and they have real stake in protecting the environment. Imposing costly and unnecessary regulations on livestock emission will not only hurt our livestock producers but American families and our economy.”

The letter is in response to President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan “Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions,” which asks the three agencies to develop a plan to reduce dairy sector methane greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, according to the release. The mandates could cost medium-sized dairy farms up to $22,000 and medium-sized cattle farms up to $27,000.

An appropriations bill is preventing the EPA from regulation greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock production, but it expires Oct. 1. Officials at the agencies are expected to come up with a plan in the following weeks.

The letter was signed by Hoeven and 15 other Republican senators.

April Baumgarten
April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, as the news editor. She works with a team of talented journalists and editors, who strive to give the Grand Forks area the quality news readers deserve to know. Baumgarten grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college,  she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.