The battle continues to rage, on Capitol Hill, over proposed cap and trade legislation, which is designed to reduce carbon emissions. And, Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) is hammering away at the costs associated with implementation of cap and trade, especially the added costs he claims would be absorbed by farmers.
A study conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and Iowa State University finds farmers would be hit hard, financially, if proposed cap and trade legislation becomes law. On Tuesday, Bond presented the findings of that study to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which is considering cap and trade legislation.
"I received a disturbing report," Bond told the committee. "That the proposed cap and trade legislation will cost the average Missouri farmer up to $30,000 per year. Now, we’ve long suspected that higher energy prices from cap and trade will hurt farmers with higher production costs. In President Obama’s own words, ‘Electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket under cap and trade.’"
Bond went on to tell Senators where those higher costs would be felt.
"There’d be higher costs for seed, fertilizer, chemicals, custom hire and rental, machinery fuel, drying and irrigation energy, machinery repairs and operating interests," said Bond. "I can only tell my colleagues here on the committee, many of whom come from the coasts and may not be familiar with farm costs, that $11,000 rising to $30,000 per far is a jaw-dropping number for farmers."
In his weekly telephone conference call with reporters, Bond rejected claims from critics who claim those numbers are inflated and inaccurate.
"Unfortunately, some of our friends in the city tend to think that food grows on grocery store shelves," said Bond. "These folks think that these higher costs passed onto farmers are a small price to pay."
And Bond blasts those who say the cost to the average farm would amount to only $1,600 a year.
"For a parttime farmer," said Bond. "$1,600 more a year is still a hefty price tag for a bill that won’t work since China and India have rejected limiting their carbon contributions."
Bond’s Missouri colleague in the Senate, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), has expressed concerns about the cap and trade legislation.