Agriculture lobby blew it on cap and trade
Mark Hillman, guest editorial
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Once climate-change regulators strangle the economy and carbon-counters turn gas, oil and electricity into expensive luxuries, perhaps American farmers will recognize how “our friends” in Washington, D.C., sold us out in the name of political compromise.
Recently, Capitol Hill’s agriculture lobby had a choice: withhold support from the Waxman-Markey climate control bill or agree to a compromise that provides cover to rural district Democrats who support it.
Without those rural votes, Waxman-Markey was bound for the shredder. With those votes, it garnered just one more vote than the bare minimum needed for passage.
However, the economic illiteracy of agriculture lobby is embarrassing. Waxman-Markey’s threat to farmers and ranchers isn’t limited to the carbon emissions of trucks, tractors and flatulent livestock.
In March, a dozen ag lobbying organizations — including National Association of Wheat Growers and National Farmers Union — agreed on nine “Principles for Greenhouse Gas Legislation.”
Not one of those principles addressed fuel or energy costs. Yet Waxman-Markey will increase electricity rates by an estimated 90 percent and fuel prices by 58 percent, according to Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. The analysis projects cap-and-trade will reduce net farm income by 28 percent by 2012 and 94 percent by 2035, That’s in addition to $1,241 per year that cap-and-tax will add to the average household’s energy bill. Read More
It’s nearly treasonous that the House of Representatives would pass a bill that will affect every aspect of our society without even reading what it says. There are times to compromise and then there are times when we need to stand by our convictions and try preventing this ruinous bill from being passed. Nobody even knows what the goal of the bill is? Are we trying to stop climate change or global warming? Can either of them be stopped? Are people causing either to occur? Leave it to Congress to pass a bill that attempts to fix a problem that might not exist. Just because people like me are urging the Senate to vote no on this bill, doesn’t mean we aren’t at the table on this process.