Testifying before a House Agriculture Committee hearing last week, USDA Chief Economist Dr. Joseph Glauber said cap and trade will increase the food consumer price index by nearly 5% by 2050. The beef sector will see a 10% decline, while the hog and dairy sector will see reductions of 23% and 17% respectively. Additionally, cap and trade will take 59 million acres of cropland and pasture out of production.
Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee, says based on USDA's own analysis, cap and trade will not benefit U.S. agriculture.
"I do not know how anyone can come to any other conclusion," Chambliss said. "Our farmers and ranchers need to be producing more food, fiber and fuel in the future, not less." According to Chambliss the current cap and trade plan will only push our agriculture production overseas, just as it does manufacturing jobs.
Senate Ag Committee member Mike Johanns, R-Neb., says this testimony confirms what's been known for some time: the cost of producing crops and livestock will increase, and energy prices will go up. According to Johanns, if the Waxman-Markey or the Kerry-Boxer cap and trade bills become law producers will be driven out of farming and production will plummet as land shifts from food to trees. He called it a death sentence.