WASHINGTON, DC – Today the House Agriculture Committee heard testimony on the impact the Waxman-Markey climate change and energy legislation (H.R. 2454) would have on farmers, who are also small business owners, and rural Americans.
Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) of the House Small Business Committee said, “A bill that has been projected to decrease farmers’ average net income by 57 percent is a bad bill. This is a national energy tax. Chairman Waxman and Speaker Pelosi are not considering what is best for all Americans. Their Hollywood and San Francisco constituents will not face the hardships this bill will bring to farmers.”
The Waxman-Markey climate change and energy bill (H.R. 2454) passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee in May. Elements of the bill have been referred to eight other committees, including Agriculture, for consideration. The full bill is expected to come to the House floor before July 4. The impact of the Waxman-Markey legislation will be much greater on people living in rural America because of higher energy prices, higher farm input costs, and higher taxes.
An early analysis by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association estimates that the monthly residential electricity bills in 25 states will increase 15%-28% for every $20/ton of CO2 allowances. Farmers and the agriculture industry are prime targets because they are energy intensive businesses. The Heritage Foundation recently released an economic study on how a national energy tax will impact farmers. The study revealed that by 2035, the average net income for farmers will decrease by 57 percent. Nearly 50 agriculture and food groups have expressed opposition to the bill.
Ranking Member Graves is a co-sponsor of the American Energy Act, a comprehensive energy solutions plan that would create jobs, make energy more affordable, and help the U.S. become more energy independent.