Washington, D.C.—“We now have USDA³ economic analysis that concludes the economic benefits to farmers and ranchers from a clean energy climate change bill likely will be greater than the costs. Agriculture will be better off and we’ll produce clean energy jobs, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and increase conservation on our working lands,” says Jimmy Daukas, Managing Director of American Farmland Trust’s (AFT) Agriculture & Environment initiative.
The USDA analysis coupled with the recent studies by well-respected agricultural economic research institutions Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) ¹ and the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) ², corrects the misconception by some that the clean energy legislation would dramatically raise costs for producers. All three analyses show it does not.
“We now need to shift the discussion to how to design legislation that most effectively creates opportunities for farmers and ranchers to sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases and produce clean, renewable energy. We need members in the agriculture community to acknowledge this significant opportunity, support the legislation and take the lead in this discussion. American Farmland Trust looks forward to working with agriculture and environmental groups, members of Congress and the administration to strengthen the House bill (H.R. 2454) to maximize the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by maximizing the participation of agriculture. That’s a bill that’s good for the country, good for farmers and good for the environment,” concludes Daukas.
American Farmland Trust is a national nonprofit organization working with farmers and ranchers to protect the land, produce a healthier environment and build successful communities. As the nation's leading advocate for farm and ranch land conservation, AFT has ensured that more than a million acres stays bountiful and productive. AFT’s national office is located in Washington, D.C. The phone number is 202-331-7300.
**** Note to editors: Citations for the three research studies mentioned in this release follow:
1. Bruce A. Babcock, “Costs and Benefits to Agriculture from Climate Change Policy” Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa Ag Review, Summer 2009, Vol. 15 No. 3. Found at: http://www.card.iastate.edu/iowa_ag_review/summer_09/article1.aspx
2. “The Effects of Higher Energy Prices from H.R. 2454 on Missouri Crop Production Costs” Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) University of Missouri. FAPRI-MU Report #05-09, July 2009. Found at: http://www.fapri.missouri.edu/outreach/publications/2009/FAPRI_MU_Report_05_09.pdf
3. “A Preliminary Analysis of the Effects of HR 2454 on U.S. Agriculture” Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, July 22, 2009. Found at: http://www.usda.gov/documents/PreliminaryAnalysis_HR2454.pdf