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Crying Wolf: Climate Change Will Cost Farmers Far More Than a Climate Bill

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Farm industry leaders and their supporters in Congress are trying to derail climate change legislation by insisting that the House-passed bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), will cause ruinous increases in the costs of production for farmers. They claim this threat is so potentially devastating that climate change legislation should be shelved or loaded up with concessions that send more money to their agricultural constituents.

But a new analysis (pdf) by the Environmental Working Group of US Department of Agriculture cost estimates finds that the projected increased costs of production due to the climate bill will be so small ($0.45 per acre for soybeans, $0.66 per acre for wheat, and $1.19 per acre for corn, for example) that they amount to well under one half of one percent of current production costs.

The report, Crying Wolf, concludes that a fertilizer spreader or chemical sprayer that is a bit out of adjustment would cost farmers more. Moreover, the added costs pale compared to the federal government’s taxpayer-funded, multi-billion-dollar commodity subsidies.

Read the report (pdf)

Read the news release (pdf)

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