Mike Johanns, junior senator from Nebraska and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has written a piece in the Omaha World-Herald criticizing both the Waxman/Markey Cap-and-Trade scheme and the recent announcement by the USDA that claims agriculture will benefit from the legislation.
In July 14 testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, a USDA official testified that “the agriculture sector will face higher energy and input costs” due to cap-and-trade. A few breaths later, he outlined the USDA’s belief that “the opportunities from climate legislation will likely outweigh the costs.”
With this bombshell, the USDA indicated that it has thoroughly analyzed increased costs against projected benefits yet provided no evidence to connect those two statements. This rhetoric conveyed nothing about the impact cap-and-trade would have on American agriculture.
American Farm Bureau analysis indicates that USDA’s numbers are based on flawed EPA models. They also assume that every agricultural producer can and will take advantage of every carbon reduction program available in their analysis of the benefits to the industry. But as AFBF President noted in his recent testimony to the Senate Agriculture committee,
Not every dairy farmer can afford to capture methane. Not every farmer lives in a region where wind turbines are an option. Not every farmer can take advantage of no-till. And not every farmer has the land to set aside to plant trees.