National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson is critical of the draft climate change and energy legislation introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and John Kerry, D-Mass. Johnson says the language fails to address the unique role agriculture can play. He says the language in the Boxer-Kerry bill fails to address several key provisions supported by the NFU.
NFU believes a national, mandatory carbon emission cap and trade system must
meet these core principles: USDA is granted control and administration of the agriculture offset program; early actors are recognized; no artificial cap is placed on domestic offsets; carbon sequestration rates are based upon science; and producers are permitted to stack environmental benefit credits.
Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee, says unfortunately the legislation follows the House-passed bill down the path of higher energy costs, job losses and economic pain for no benefit.
"Further, it would only hurt farmers, ranchers and forest landowners and provide them no opportunity to recoup the higher costs they will pay for energy and the other inputs necessary to work the land," Chambliss said. "I cannot support this bill."
Meanwhile, Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says his organization supports the common sense solution inserted in the House version of the bill by Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to fix what is an unfair and inequitable international land-use change penalty being proposed against domestic ethanol and other biofuels.