Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't Cap Our Future

November 2009
Don’t Cap Our Future
By: Bob Stallman

Farm Bureau recently kicked off a climate change grassroots campaign appropriately titled “Don’t Cap Our Future.” Farm Bureau members are getting out the word on Capitol Hill that cap-and-trade legislation would impose higher energy and food costs on consumers, raise fuel, fertilizer and energy costs for farmers and ranchers, and shrink the American agricultural sector, resulting in reduced U.S. food production.

The consequences of climate legislation far outweigh the benefits and aren’t worth capping America’s future.

Paying the Piper

Under the cap-and-trade legislation in the House and Senate, American families will pay higher energy costs. According to the Department of Energy, energy costs could grow by $1,870 per household. Combined with higher costs for food, the additional yearly hit on families would total about $2,300 per household. Said another way, the cap-and-trade law would impose costs of up to $200 billion a year on American taxpayers.

At the farm gate, as much as 17 percent of U.S. agricultural land currently used for food production will be idled and planted in trees under the House bill. That is because the vast majority of incentive payments will go to people who choose to grow and maintain trees for greenhouse gas reduction, rather than farmers who work to put food on American’s tables. This shift in land use will hurt consumers at the grocery store. Food costs could rise by up to an average of $33 billion annually in 2020 and up to $51 billion annually by 2030 as a result of this legislation. Read More

The American Farm Bureau has launched this innovative idea to help drive home the message that any type of cap and trade system will be very detrimental to farmers and ranchers and their ability to grow our food. The real cap from this legislation will be the one put on our ability to continue the amazingly successful American agriculture story. In a land that we have always promoted as having limitless possibilities, we don’t need laws that can cap our success.

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