TFI Praises Bi-Partisan Congressional Action to Prevent EPA Overreach on Climate Regulations
Washington, D.C. - The Fertilizer Institute voiced its support today for the “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011,” legislation introduced in Congress yesterday that would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change. The bi-partisan bill was introduced by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.). “TFI commends these Congressional leaders for taking this necessary action to ensure that EPA does not overstep the authority granted to it under the Clean Air Act.”
EPA’s efforts to further impose climate change regulations will have serious consequences for the fertilizer industry and correspondingly for farmers and the security of the U.S. food production system,” said TFI President Ford West.
The U.S. fertilizer industry is an important element of the American economy, ensuring a ready supply of high-quality food for American consumers. Fertilizer production however is heavily dependent upon energy and, in particular, natural gas. Between 70 and 90 percent of the production cost of nitrogen fertilizer – a critical product – is the cost of natural gas, the feedstock for nitrogen fertilizer production. For this reason, the fertilizer industry is likely among the most vulnerable to climate change regulations.
U.S. fertilizer manufacturers also face stiff competition from overseas production. The United States is the largest nitrogen fertilizer import market in the world with U.S. farmers relying on imports for about half their annual nitrogen supply. Much of this imported nitrogen comes from countries, such as Russia, Venezuela, and Trinidad, which seem unlikely to enact climate based restrictions of their own. If the EPA were to impose additional burdens on American fertilizer producers, the market share from these countries would likely grow costing American jobs and resulting in no net environmental benefits as production in these countries faces much lower levels of environmental regulation and no limits on CO2.
“We believe that Congress, not the EPA, is the proper venue to develop an all- encompassing comprehensive energy plan that will lead the United States towards energy independence, said West. “We look forward to working with Congress to develop policies that will spur economic growth and allow the fertilizer industry and farmers to continue to provide an abundant and affordable food supply for all Americans.”
About the Fertilizer Institute
The Fertilizer Institute represents the nation’s fertilizer industry. Producers, wholesalers, retailers, trading firms and equipment manufacturers which comprise its membership are served by a full time Washington, D.C., staff in various legislative, educational and technical areas as well as with information and public relations programs.