Ag Lobby Condemns Any Effort to Cut Emissions


The American Farm Bureau Federation—the powerful agricultural lobby group already waging war on congressional efforts to fight climate change—yesterday adopted a formal resolution condemning both pending cap-and-trade legislation and the Environmental Protection Agency’s anticipated regulations of carbon emissions.

The resolution, approved at the AFB’s annual meeting, “strongly opposes” cap-and-trade legislation in Congress and “strongly supports any legislative action that would suspend EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.”

The resolution also refers to the “ClimateGate” hacked email controversy as evidence of “just how unsettled the science really is on climate change.” It also argues that the emails demonstrate the “unwillingness of many of the world’s climatologists to share data or even entertain opposing viewpoints.” Yet the vast majority of climatologists estimate that agriculture is one of the industries that will suffer most from warming global temperatures.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture estimates that, under the climate legislation passed in the House last year, farmers will receive an additional $75 million to 100 million each year from 2012 to 2016 to reduce their emissions. The market for offsets created by the bill could also generate income for farmers of $1 billion per year between 2015 and 2020, and $15 to 20 billion annually from 2040 to 2050.

AFB’s resolution was unanimously approved by the 369 delegates at the AFB’s annual summit. The full resolution is below the jump.

SENSE OF THE DELEGATE BODY

Whereas, proposed cap and trade legislation would result in significantly higher production costs for farmers;

Whereas, the potential benefits of agricultural offsets are far outweighed by the costs, unavailable to many producers, and harm U.S. agriculture – one of the most productive systems in the world;

Whereas, the administration’s latest economic projections show that the proposed cap and trade legislation would result in planting trees on 59 million acres of crop and pasture land thereby damaging the capability of U.S. agricultural producers to feed a growing world population and create the conditions for rising consumer food prices;

Whereas, cap and trade legislation would eliminate jobs, and could result in the loss of 2.3 million jobs in the U.S. over the next 20 years;

Whereas, emails made public call into question just how unsettled the science really is on climate change and demonstrate the unwillingness of many of the world’s climatologists to share data or even entertain opposing viewpoints;

Whereas, the recently completed Copenhagen summit resulted in demands for the U.S. to transfer billions of dollars to the developing world to fight climate change, but produced no meaningful agreement;

Whereas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s threats to selectively regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act would significantly burden all sectors of the economy, especially agriculture;

Therefore, be it resolved that this 2010 AFBF Delegate Body strongly opposes cap and trade proposals before Congress and strongly supports any legislative action that would suspend EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

And further, that the delegates attending this 91st Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation send the strongest possible message to Congress: “Don’t Cap Our Future.”

Fact:

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.