Thune, Sinema Introduce Bill to Prevent Regulation of Livestock Emissions

April 29, 2021

Washington — 

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) today introduced legislation to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing permits related to livestock emissions. The Livestock Regulatory Protection Act would amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the EPA from issuing permits for any carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, water vapor, or methane emissions resulting from biological processes associated with livestock production.  

“Livestock producers are working to improve efficiency and reduce emissions from their operations,” said Thune. “They should not be subject to onerous regulations and costly permit fees for their animals’ emissions, which could ultimately lead to higher food costs for consumers. I’m grateful for Senator Sinema’s partnership on the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act, which would provide producers long-term certainty on this issue.”

“Cutting unnecessary regulations frees Arizona cattlemen from costly permit fees and keeps prices affordable for Arizona families,” said Sinema.

“SDCA thanks Senators Thune and Sinema for working to prevent the EPA from requiring unnecessary air quality permits for livestock producers,” said Eric Jennings, president of South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. “America’s beef producers, like consumers and regulators, are focused on continuous improvement in environmental conservation and sustainability. Creating burdensome permitting requirements that aren’t firmly backed by sound science aren’t an effective solution to improving the environment, incentivizing good environmental management is.”

Thune previously introduced this bill in 2009 with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and this restriction has been included in annual appropriations legislation since then. The Livestock Regulatory Protection Act would provide long-term certainty for producers that their livestock’s biological emissions will not be subject to costly regulation. 

Supporters of the Livestock Emissions Regulatory Protection Act include the American Farm Bureau Federation, Ducks Unlimited, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, American Sheep Industry Association, National Bison Association, and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative.