Petition to EPA: Industrial Agriculture is a Climate Polluter

Petition to EPA: Industrial Agriculture is a Climate Polluter

Industrial agriculture is a major driver of climate change. However, the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to treat the industry like the climate polluter it is. That is why Public Justice led 25 climate, environmental justice, and rural community groups representing over 2.4 million members to file a petition urging Biden’s EPA to live up to its climate and environmental justice commitments. The EPA should regulate methane emissions from industrial hog and dairy operations and reject factory farm gas as a false solution.

The petition calls on the EPA to protect public health, rural communities, and our land, air, and water by listing and regulating industrial dairy and hog operations under section 111 of the Clean Air Act. As major sources of the super pollutant methane, industrial hog and dairy facilities now account for 33 percent of agricultural methane emissions, 13 percent of total U.S. methane emissions, and 1.3 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Quote graphic from Kim Stephens of Iowa CCI

The industry claims to have a ‘solution’ to methane emissions: factory farm gas, or so-called ‘biogas’. This technology captures dirty methane emissions from manure lagoons and sells it as energy. However, factory farm gas is not an environmental justice or climate solution. Factory farm gas entrenches the dirty production system that caused the problem in the first place: too many animals on a small piece of land. The technology burdens neighboring rural communities, which are often predominantly Black and brown communities, with dirty pipelines on top of water and air pollution for the sake of corporate profit.

Pasture-based farming is the best way to reduce emissions. It builds soil health, captures carbon from the atmosphere, and keeps air and water clean for environmental justice and rural communities. It will get us further than investing in a scheme cooked up by corporations to get rich off a problem they created.

Learn more about the petition in our press release.

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