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Climate Legislation (Part 3)

While the debate on climate change continues, more information continues to come out on how proposed legislation would impact different sectors of the economy. Joe Brown has more in the week’s From The Ground Up.

"It appears that the government has decided it is a problem, and so regardless of whether the facts bear it out, the government has decided we're going to do something about it."

And that, says Texas Agrilife economist Joe Outlaw, can impact sectors of the economy no one really thought about.

"The average person is not going to be able to understand what all happens, but they will understand when their BTU bill goes up. They're going to understand that. They won't like it, but they're going to understand."

Agricultural products are one of the United States’ largest exports.

"Most people don't understand that we're going to be less competitive internationally because of this. When our prices move up for the very reasons I said earlier, about people leaving businesses and things like that, When the level of our costs go up, and we have to compete with other countries who aren't doing anything, we're going to be less competitive. That's just the way it's going to be."

Critics of the climate legislation maintain that the cost versus the benefit for the U.S. doesn’t make sense.

"One of the challenges is that this legislation allows international offsets to meet our, half of the offsets can come from international, from other places. What that means is we're going to be incurring all of the costs, without, at least half of the benefits are going to be going elsewhere."

And unless there is global participation, the cost/benefit ratio would be even more lop-sided.

"The government has decided we're going to take the lead and not just do something but take the lead, which is different. There's a lot of speculation with what we do in this country, if other countries don't follow suit, it will be for naught, and that would probably be the worst case situation."

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


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