New Analysis: Climate Bill Good for Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just released a new analysis of the American Clean Energy & Security (ACES) Act. It’s great news for farmers and ranchers, showing the bill will be a net benefit to agriculture, with huge long-term economic opportunities.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s testimony on Capitol Hill by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack:

[ACES’s] creation of an offset market will create opportunities for the agricultural sector. In particular, our analysis indicates that annual net returns to farmers range from about $1 billion per year in 2015-20 to almost $15-20 billion in 2040-50, not accounting for the costs of implementing offset practices.

So, let me be clear about the implications of this analysis. In the short term, the economic benefits to agriculture from cap and trade legislation will likely outweigh the costs. In the long term, the economic benefits from offsets markets easily trump increased input costs from cap and trade legislation. Let me also note that we believe these figures are conservative because we aren’t able to model the types of technological change that are very likely to help farmers produce more crops and livestock with fewer inputs.

This analysis is just the latest evidence that comprehensive climate & energy legislation like ACES isn’t just good for some parts of the country, as the bill’s obstructionist opponents suggest. ACES is good for America, and we should all get behind it!

Published: July 22, 2009