July 15, 2009

Sanity in the Heartland

FROM-Hoosier Ag Today

Climate Change Bill Not Good for Indiana or Agriculture
by Gary Truitt

The climate change bill that squeaked through the House last month is now before the US Senate; and, again Indiana and agriculture stand to lose if the bill is passed. American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman testified before a Senate committee on Tuesday that "Cap-and-trade legislation will have little or no impact on the climate because greenhouse gas emissions require a global response,” AFBF also contends that the bill will raise food prices for consumers unless an offset program is put into place to defray production input costs. An agricultural offsets program administered by the Agriculture Department is an essential cost containment measure, but revenues from offsets will only partially defray increased costs and not all agriculture sectors will benefit from offset opportunities.

Another contention AFBF has is that the bill would reduce the use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but does not specify what energy source will plug the hole left by these reductions. This could lead to energy shortages and much higher energy prices. Kreg Battles, State Representative from Southwest Indiana, says the legislation in Washington would increase energy costs and virtually wipe out the state’s coal industry, “With 94% of our electric energy coming from coal, it seems pretty unrealistic that we are just going to wipe that off the map.” Battles told HAT, in Southwest Indiana, coal along with oil and agriculture are the economic pillars of the community, All would be hurt by the Cap and Trade legislation, “In my county we only have 7% unemployment, which is nothing to brag about but is better than the 10% in other parts of the state. This is because we have two new coal mines providing jobs.” Supporters of the cap and trade concept say Indiana would gain new green jobs as wind energy would continue to grow, but Battles says this would only be trading jobs in one sector with another.


No comments:

Post a Comment