Stop Crying Wolf! Cap-and-Trade Will Increase Farmer's Production Costs Less Than 1%

wheat photo

photo: David Jones via flickr.

Putting another nail in the 'it's too expensive to enact climate change legislation' coffin: The Environmental Working Group has just released a report that shows the added costs to agriculture of the American Clean Energy & Security Act will be entirely minimal:Overall the costs to farmers of implementing cap-and-trade under ACES amount to less than a 1% increase in the cost of production between 2012 and 2018 -- $0.45 per acre for soybeans, $0.66 per acre for wheat, and $1.19 per acre for corn. These increases would result from, essentially, the cost of fossil fuels and the cost of fossil fuel-derived fertilizers increasing.

The EWG says that a fertilizer spreader that is slightly out of alignment would cost a farmer more than will climate legislation.

Driving the point home, the EWG likens the price increases for cotton production under ACES to be $1.46 per acre; at 920 pounds of cotton grown on that acre, that increase is about the same price as 2.5 pounds of cotton. The additional cost to rice growers of $3.09 per acre is about the cost of 28 pounds of rice, out of 7,500 grown on that acre.

dried earth photo

photo: QQ Li via flickr.
ACES Will Help Farmers Cope With Climate Change
Report co-author Craig Cox concludes,
The costs of legislation to protect farmers against crippling drought, volatile weather and increase pest and diseases outbreaks are so small that they would be lost in the background noise caused by annual swings in farm income from yield variation, crop prices, and the cost of seed and chemicals.

Cox added, "Congress must pass a climate bill that slows climate change and puts money on the table to help farmers cope with threats they will face from a warmer and more unpredictable climate."

Read the full report: Crying Wolf
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