What do carbon regulation and cap and trade legislation affect? Nearly everything and everyone.
I have lots of concerns about climate change legislation, including:
CLIMATE CHANGE legislation will raise energy costs in the U.S. The added energy costs to our farmers, manufacturers, food processors and grocers will be passed on to our consumers.
One estimate from the American Petroleum Institute is that it will cost the average household $3,300 by 2020. Everything produced in the U.S. will have added costs, making our products more expensive and less competitive around the world. That will cost the U.S. its exports and much needed jobs.
IF THE U.S. SPENDS the money to lower its carbon dioxide emissions and other countries like China and India do not, we will continue to drive our jobs and manufacturing overseas, poten-tially raising the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
ANY TARIFFS the U.S. would impose on another country to force them to lower their carbon dioxide emissions could provoke retaliatory tariffs or embargoes against many American products including soybeans, corn, wheat and meat products.
ACREAGE SHIFTS. There is the potential that much cropland could be taken out of production to be put into trees that can sequester up to 8.5 tons of carbon dioxide/acre/year. Payments for these acres could be as high as $200/acre/year at $25/ton. This acre shift should be a big concern for everyone. Will this adversely impact our ability to feed the growing world population?
THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency admits we probably will only change the temperature of the atmosphere by a few tenths of one degree by 2050 after spending all of this money and making all of these efforts.
I think we should be concen-trating on energy efficiency and energy conservation. We should support our clean-burning renewable fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol made from soybeans and corn. We should also manage our forests for fire. Forest fires release an unbelievable amount of carbon into the atmosphere.
CLIMATE CHANGE legislation will make U.S. food more costly and less competitive around the world. I've read that 94% of American citizens prefer food grown domestically; we most likely would import more food with this legislation.
The bottom line is that enacting unilateral climate change legislation in the U.S. will be unfavorable for farmers and consumers.
Lawrence Sukalski and his family grow corn and soybeans near the Minnesota/Iowa border. He is an active member of the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation.