Climate Legislation; Ag Economy; Animal Agriculture; Food Safety; Crop Insurance; Peanuts; and Nutrition Programs
Climate Legislation: Senate
Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss issued a news release on Friday, which stated that, “Following a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the effects of climate change legislation on farmers, U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and other members of the Committee today sent a letter to Dr. Joseph Glauber, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Chief Economist, requesting updates to USDA’s study regarding EPA’s agriculture analysis of H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), joined Sen. Chambliss in signing the letter asking USDA to brief the Committee on the results of the analysis.
“In the letter, the Senators said USDA’s ‘Preliminary Analysis of the Effects of H.R. 2454 on U.S. Agriculture’ is a first step in understanding the vast impacts of H.R. 2454; however it is more appropriate for USDA to use a range of estimates, rather than rely solely on estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Last week, Sen. Chambliss wrote EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting the release of a model Professor Bruce McCarl at Texas A&M University provided, along with all data and supporting information including assumptions and results to the Committee.
“Additionally, during the hearing members noted acreage estimates from the American Farm Bureau Federation regarding the conversion of cropland to new forest land. Initial estimates calculated from data furnished by EPA indicated 40 million acres would be subject to afforestation; however according to Committee calculations, that figure could be significantly higher. It appears that the June 2009 EPA analysis would suggest a minimum of 78 million acres of cropland would be converted to forests by 2050. That is nearly 20 percent of total cropland in the United States.”