As a longtime opponent of the President’s national energy tax, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) today said he was hopeful the President this week would address the serious concerns of family farmers and small businesses in the 9th District about the the devastating impacts of higher energy costs associated with his Administration’s cap-and-trade legislation. The President is scheduled to visit the POET biorefining plant in Macon and tour a local farm on Wednesday.
“Our farmers and small businesses are vital to the prosperity of the 9th District of Missouri, and they need to know that Washington hears their concerns. The current climate in Washington is unsettling to many farmers and small business owners due to the costs associated with cap-and-trade legislation and the increasing national debt,” Luetkemeyer said. “The President should take the time to speak to the folks along Main Street in the 9th District and address the inconsistencies between his support for disastrous cap-and-tax legislation and his stated goal of job creation.”
Missouri’s 9th District has more than 22,000 farms, covering more than 6.4 million acres of land, and agriculture is a bull’s-eye industry for an energy tax because it is energy-intensive. Whether it’s the fuel in the tractor, the fertilizer for the crops, or the delivery of food to the grocery store, agriculture uses a great deal of energy throughout production. An analysis by the Missouri Public Utility Alliance estimates that the cap-and-tax plan for carbon emissions could increase the average electric rate in Missouri by 10 percent in 2015 compared to 2005. In 2020, the increase could be 17 percent and by 2030, rates could be 82 percent higher.
Ironically, the POET facility in Macon is just up the road from the Thomas Hill coal fired power plant. Luetkemeyer visited both the POET Plant and Thomas Hill in February. If cap-and-tax passes, it is expected to dramatically drive up the cost of energy from coal fired power plants like Thomas Hill. Farmers and small businesses have told Luetkemeyer these increases will cost jobs and possibly their livelihoods.
“The bottom line is that higher energy prices ripple throughout the economy,” Luetkemeyer said. “At the end of the day, hard-working families in both rural and urban areas will feel the sting of this legislation, and it is my hope that the President will actually take into consideration the very real impact of cap-and-trade on hard-working folks here in the 9th District.”