Climate Change Legislation – House Floor Vote Expected Friday

Farm Bureau Urges “No” Vote on Climate Change Legislation; “Yes” Vote on Peterson Amendment

The House of Representatives has scheduled debate and a vote this Friday on H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (Climate Change Bill).  American and Ohio Farm Bureau strongly oppose this legislation and are urging all members of Congress to vote against it.  Due to the quick time frame of this vote, we are not asking for Farm Bureau members to make contact unless there is strong interest to do so.  I have been in Washington all week and in nearly every office and have a good idea of the official position of each Ohio member of Congress.  This will be a near party-line vote with Republican’s opposed to the bill, and Democrats in support, except for Rep. Wilson (opposed) and Rep. LaTourette (undecided).  One or two others may change their position, but i don’t expect much.  The bill is expected to pass.  Again, if members do want to weigh in, the Ohio members of Congress they should encouraged to oppose the bill would be:  Rep. Space, Boccieri, Driehaus and Ryan.  Currently these members are leaning in support.  It should be noted that Senate action on the bill is not expected until fall and our Ohio Senators plan to address many of the issues we have with the bill at that time.  However, we will prepare and launch a grassroots action request to further encourage such Senate activitly soon. 
H.R. 2454 would establish a ‘cap-and-trade’ program that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (principally CO 2 ).  Although agriculture as a sector does not fall under the cap (i.e., is not subject to emissions limits like other sectors, such as electricity generation and manufacturing), it still would feel the affect of higher fuel prices.  AFBF economists estimate that under a best-case scenario, agriculture by 2020 would face a $5 billion a year loss in net farm income; more realistic projections put the costs much higher. 
Chairman Collin Peterson of the House Agriculture Committee negotiated improvements in the legislation, particularly related to an agricultural offset program run by USDA.  While Farm Bureau supports Chairman Peterson’s efforts and the changes he has made, we continue to oppose the legislation as a whole.  I have attached copies of earlier letters sent by AFBF to the House Energy and Commerce and to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) outlining Farm Bureau concerns over the legislation.  Talking points and an article about Australia’s cap-and-trade legislation are also attached.  OFBF has also sent several letters to Congress in opposition to this bill. 

Again, due to the rapid timeframe for a vote that has developed in the last couple days in the House and our focus on state livestock ballet legislation, we are not asking for action by Farm Bureau members, but if there is interest to comunicate our position, please feel free.  OFBF has made it clear to each Ohio member of Congress already of our official position in opposition to this bill.  If OFBF members contact their members of Congress, urge them to vote “Yes” on the Peterson amendment and “No” on final passage when H.R. 2454 is brought to a vote.

Contact:  Adam Sharp, 614-306-7469 or [email protected]

Talking Points on H.R. 2454

Farm Bureau supports the Chairman Peterson’s agreement with Chairman Waxman and urges a “Yes” vote on the Peterson amendment.

Farm Bureau opposes H.R. 2454 because:

  1. The bill would result in increased costs to farmers and ranchers, reducing net farm income by more than $5 billion annually by 2020.
  2. The bill creates an ‘energy deficit’ for the United States by curtailing and reducing our use of fossil fuels without supplying any realistic alternative to make up the lost energy.
  3. The bill does nothing to require other countries, such as China and India, to undertake similar programs.  If global warming is truly global, then all nations must work toward a solution.
  4. The legislation would result in a net economic cost to farmers with little or no environmental benefit.  It should be defeated or drastically changed.