Policy & Politics
Ag Is Bull's Eye for Energy Tax
Agriculture is a bullâ€™s-eye industry for a national energy tax because it is energy-intensive, according to commentary published in Agweek by Reps. Frank Lucas, Sam Graves and Doc Hastings, co-chairs of the Rural America Solutions Group. The â€ścap and tradeâ€ť provision of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill is essentially a national energy tax, they argue. They point out that on average, 65 percent of farmersâ€™ operating costs are fuel, electricity, fertilizer and chemicals so any increase in these costs will devastate their budgets.Â â€śExperts predict that this national energy tax will spike energy prices between 15 percent and 125 percent â€” forcing local producers in your community to pay more for seed, equipment, machinery, steel and other supplies,â€ť the lawmakers wrote.Â Lucas (R-Okla.) is ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee; Graves (R-Mo.) is ranking member of the House Committee on Small Business and Hastings (R-Wash.) is ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.