Agriculture is a bull’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 “cap and trade” 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 farmers’ operating costs are fuel, electricity, fertilizer and chemicals so any increase in these costs will devastate their budgets. “Experts predict that this national energy tax will spike energy prices between 15 percent and 125 percent — forcing local producers in your community to pay more for seed, equipment, machinery, steel and other supplies,” the lawmakers wrote. 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.
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