Proposed climate legislation fell short

Buckeye Farm News

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) State Trustee Pam Haley recently spoke at a jobs rally supported by energy and business organizations, saying that climate change policy took center stage for Farm Bureau at the national level in the past year.

OFBF had opposed climate change legislation that had come before Congress because it failed to meet several key principles.

“We must emphasize at the outset that this legislation would increase fuel, fertilizer and energy costs to farmers and ranchers. Farmers are price takers, not price makers, and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to offset these increased input costs,” Haley said.

OFBF has said that any cap-and-trade legislation must provide benefits that outweigh costs, “plug the hole” created by lost energy sources, provide a global response and recognize and support the benefits that farmers can provide.

“The discussion and inclusion of agricultural offset titles in these bills was appreciated, but these provisions provided few opportunities for farmers to balance some promised benefits with guaranteed new costs,” Haley said.

Haley urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rethink its greenhouse gas regulations and Congress to rethink its interest to act on a matter that could have a drastic effect on farmers.

Economists have estimated that the bill could reduce America’s net farm income by more than $5 billion annually by the year 2020.

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