June 26, 2009
The Public Lands Council (PLC) drafted a letter to Reps. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and John Boehner (Ohio), speaker and minority leader, respectively, of the U.S. House of Representatives, opposing the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
The letter states: "PLC appreciates the work House Agriculture Committee Chairman Peterson (Minn.), Chairman Waxman (Calif.), and Pelosi did to improve the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 for agriculture. The package of amendments that Peterson plans to offer on the House floor will go far toward making offset participation a reality for many agriculture producers and will provide other benefits. We commend both Chairmen and the Speaker for these efforts.
"Nevertheless, despite these improvements, we continue to have significant concerns with the legislation. PLC members are responsible environmental stewards of rangeland throughout the West, who respect and care for the land, air, water and animals that are fundamental to sustaining their way of life. Our members are very concerned, however, about the effects the climate bill could have on their costs of fuel, electricity, feed, fertilizer, equipment and other inputs necessary to maintain a livestock operation, as well as the costs of potential future regulation.
"Economists have estimated that the climate change bill would cause farm income to drop anywhere from $8 billion in the short term to $50 billion long term. The livestock industry has suffered significant economic setbacks lately, and if these estimates are close to being accurate, this bill would very likely push many ranching operations over the edge.
"Livestock producers will continue to work every day to protect and improve the environment so that they and future generations will be able to continue to live off the land and feed our nation and the rest of the world, but PLC opposes any bill that could cause significant financial hardship with marginal environmental benefit."
The American Sheep Industry Association is a member of PLC.