The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis released an economic study on Tuesday regarding the impact a cap-and-trade system would have on the agriculture community. The study maintains that cap-and-trade is “an energy tax in disguise” that will cause farm income to drop dramatically because of higher operating costs. It further argues that people living on fixed incomes and struggling in tough economic times can expect higher food prices as the result of this policy.
Highlights of the study include:
- Farm income (after paying all expenses) is expected to drop $8 billion in 2012, $25 billion in 2024 and over $50 billion in 2035. These are decreases of 28%, 60% and 94%, respectively.
- The average net income lost over the 2010-2035 timeline is $23 billion, which is a 57% decrease from the baseline.
- Construction costs of farm buildings will go up from the baseline by 5.5% in 2025 and 10% by 2034.
- By 2035, gasoline and diesel costs are expected to be 58% higher and electric rates 90% higher.
“No wonder agriculture groups are increasingly coming out against the Waxman-Markey bill. They know agriculture is a target. They know that cap-and-trade promises to destroy their livelihoods. A bill of this magnitude deserves thoughtful consideration and debate. Instead, Speaker Pelosi is rushing it through Congress to the detriment of all of us,” says Ranking Member Frank Lucas.
To date, 42 agriculture groups have written letters to members of Congress expressing opposition to the Waxman-Markey bill. Those letters can be viewed here.