Food Firms Fret Over Potential Impact of Climate Bill
Coalition, Including Agricultural Giants, Plans to Draw Attention to Concerns That Legislation Could Lead to Higher Food Prices
By LAUREN ETTER
Some of the nation's biggest food and agriculture companies are planning to release a flurry of studies in coming weeks that scrutinize the potential impact of climate-change legislation, warning that it could lead to higher food prices.
A group of agriculture giants including Cargill Inc., along with meat company Tyson Foods Inc. and food maker General Mills Inc., is concerned the companies might bear a disproportionate share of the costs of such legislation, according to a memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The group also is worried that a House bill passed in July doesn't provide sufficient incentives for food and agricultural companies to receive and generate carbon credits to offset their carbon emissions.
The meat industry is anxious that the legislation might put restrictions on the ability of livestock operations to generate carbon credits that could offset their greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock and food companies emit greenhouse gases in a number of ways, including using trucks to transport food and slaughterhouses that run on natural gas.
But the big food and agriculture companies feel they came up short. In a letter sent last month to Sens. Barbara Boxer, the California Democrat, and Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the coalition said the House bill "will increase food and feed prices and reduce the international competitiveness of our businesses."
The letter said Congress "must take extreme care to avoid adverse impacts on food security, prices, safety, and accessibility to necessary consumer products." The letter also criticized the House bill for failing to provide transitional assistance to "low-income households struggling with rising food prices." Read More
The concern over the impact of climate change legislation continues to grow. More companies and people are starting to see how much this could cost every single one of us. And what is the benefit? They are trying to force a solution, that might not work, on a problem that might not exist. I would encourage people to ask their Senators if the goal of this legislation is to stop the climate from changing and will it be considered a failure if it doesn’t. You might also remind them that the climate has been changing since the beginning of time.