Emerging Details on Carbon Cap and Trade Disturbing

Carbon legislation likely to cause serious harm to agriculture, Moran says

Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Hays), who has a pretty good track record of knowing what he's talking about, is warning that the carbon cap and trade legislation now being considered in Congress, the Markey-Waxman bill, would be devastating to agriculture and the rural economy.

In remarks to the Agriculture Committee Friday morning, Moran said that the bill would increase energy costs and drive up costs in rural areas disproportionately to urban areas.

Any potential credits for carbon sequestration would be wiped out twice over by the escalation of costs, he warned. The legislation could increase electric bills as much as $1,000 a month, while also pushing transportation costs higher. Rural residents have long distances to travel to schools, jobs, hospitals and grocery stores and unlike their urban counterparts, have no access to public transportation.

A farmer would be allowed credit for about one-half ton per acre for carbon sequestration with carbon trading between $15 and $40 a ton -- about $7.50 to $20 an acre in benefit. By contrast, increases in energy costs would drive up his cost of production by $40 to $80 an acre.

Moran said he is worried that the political pressure to pass legislation aimed at addressing climate change will lead to rushing through legislation that has been neither well thought-out nor fully debated.

Moran's website has more information about the legislation and video of his full testimony. 

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