NAWG President Karl Scronce wrote Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack late last week requesting USDA to provide further analysis of the effects of pending climate change legislation, including a comparison of studies that have been published by other sources.
Scronce said, in part:
“As you know, there is deep concern about the economic impacts of such regulation either through legislation or in the form of administrative regulations. While we applaud the Department of Agriculture for putting forward a preliminary cost/benefit analysis, we recognize that many other such studies have also been published in the recent past. …[W]e believe it could be very useful for USDA to present a comparison of the various outstanding studies along with the range of conclusions drawn from each.
“We understand there are inherent problems examining such a complex issue with so many variables and unknowns. While possible economic gains may be realized, possible economic losses may also result, particularly for actors in such an energy intensive sector as production agriculture. In this regard, a comparison by USDA of various existing economic studies would be both useful and timely.”
Scronce also told Vilsack that wheat growers believe the question of costs and benefits may arise not only as a result of legislative initiatives but from regulations following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that greenhouse gasses pose a human health hazard and can be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
The letter is available in full at www.wheatworld.org/issues/climatechange