Climate Legislation (Part 2)

Congressional hearings were held last week with a variety of experts discussing the impact of climate legislation that is currently being considered. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

"Unfortunately this isn't one of those areas where the science is 100% unquestioned. It appears that there's something going on, but the reality of the question of do we have to do something right now is less clear."

Texas AgriLife economist Joe Outlaw testified before congress last week on the economic effects of climate legislation.

"Very good people are saying it's a problem, very good people are saying it's not a problem. I get confused, and I work on this, I get very confused because there are a number of people who say we are going through a cooling period right now, and the other side would dismiss it as a cycle. And so we're talking about global warming and this last year was a cooling year."

It's a forgone conclusion that this legislation will increase prices on anything having to do with energy, but what isn't talked about is how it will impact the ag economy.

"When you get farmers who are basically in a position of price taking, of having to take, they cannot influence the price they receive for their products. Under very rare circumstances they can. They're gong to be taking whatever price they can get, and when they have higher costs, the reality is, to make things balance out, they're going to be less of them."

And it’s not only row crops that will be effected.

"Our livestock operators are going to be, in our analysis, probably the most hurt of anyone. They have very few opportunities to gain any from selling carbon credits, but they're going to be getting higher feed costs imposed on them, and it's going to be much more difficult to make money."

Outlaw says that any way you look at it, this legislation harms U.S. agriculture.

"We made very conservative assumptions. Even under those assumptions, agriculture is a lot worse off."

I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.

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