Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Can Ag Afford Cap & Trade?

Climate Bill Long-Term Impacts Should be Brought to Light
By Tracy Taylor Grondine

Mainstream media and critics have recently struck a nerve with not only farmers and ranchers, but many people who serve and benefit from agriculture’s productivity. In a push to pass climate change legislation, the agriculture industry has been painted as greedy and selfish. Some journalists have even reverted to grade-school antics of name-calling and insults.

But, there is a legitimate reason the American Farm Bureau Federation and several other agricultural organizations are opposed to the climate legislation, already passed in the House and now pending in the Senate. Long-term costs of the bill will be substantial not only to agriculture, but the overall economy and will certainly hurt American families.

Most media outlets are only focused on the front-end effects of the climate bill, also known as Waxman-Markey after its sponsors Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). The energy cost increases generated by the bill will cut farm income by around 5 percent a year by 2020. This economic loss on top of what are already razor-thin margins that many farmers and ranchers are living on today will hurt the industry. But, the effect on agriculture will be more crippling at the back-end of the deal, around 2050. Read More

Tracy says it best when she states that the devil is in the details. The most unfortunate part is that it seems the members of the House didn’t even care enough to read the bill before they voted on it. This bill will cost everyone a lot of money, there is no debating that. The debate should be whether or not spending this money will solve a problem that we aren’t even sure exists. The debate should also be about whether we are willing to sacrifice our domestic food supply during this process.

1 comment:

A. Philpott said...

Becareful what we ask for - we may just get it. Remember that EPA already has the authority and, now with the endangerment finding, the responsibility to regulate greenhouse gas emissions if Congress does not act. So rather than instruct your senator to just vote no on climate change - instead ask both congressional representatives and ag leaders to keep working toward a reasonable solution. If we don't find a way to make cap and trade work, we'll find ourselves at the mercy of EPA-imposed regulations...and THAT will no doubt be even more expensive.

Ag must remain at the legislative table because if we are not at the table, we'll be on the (EPA) menu!