In a statement released yesterday by its President Keith Bolin, the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) added its voice to the rapidly growing number of industry groups across the U.S. economy supporting the U.S. Senate's effort to pass comprehensive federal clean energy and climate legislation.
In his statement, Bolin highlighted not only the range of economic opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers from new and expanded markets in renewable energy and carbon offsets in a federal cap and trade system, but also the potential costs to farmers of inaction — the impacts on agricultural production of a changing climate, with increased droughts, changes in water supply and more frequent extreme weather events — if the U.S. fails to provide global leadership by acting to curb its greenhouse gas emissions:
"Agriculture must not continue to keep their heads in the sand regarding climate change. Farmers and ranchers will pay a huge price if we fail to take action...If agriculture continues to ignore sound science regarding the effects of increased greenhouse gasses, and our climate becomes increasingly erratic, to the point of even worsening production problems around the globe, the United States will be seen as obstructionists to a global effort that had great potential to help sustain the environment that family farmers depend on.
ACGA recognizes that because agriculture has so much to lose from unmitigated global warming, the stakes for U.S. farmers are high if Congress fails to pass strong clean energy and climate legislation. They also understand that America's agricultural community has a major opportunity to come to the table and be part of the solution to global warming, helping to transform rural economies in the process. As the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act moves today from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee toward the Senate floor, other agricultural industry groups must now follow ACGA's lead in building support for a clean energy future.