Farm groups join opposition to Inslee’s cap-and-trade plan

Posted 1/31/2015

Several Washington farm groups have joined a campaign against Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to charge some companies for emitting greenhouse gases. Inslee’s carbon-cutting proposal includes several agriculture groups. The governor’s cap-and-trade plan would apply to at least 130 plants, including one fertilizer manufacturer and eight food processors, according to the state Department of Ecology (DOE).

The companies, which release at least 25,000 metric tons of carbon in a year, would bid for “allowances” to emit carbon. The bidding would start at $12.60 per metric ton, a floor price based on California’s experience with cap-and-trade, according to DOE.

“It’s another tax on ag,” Washington Farm Bureau director of governmental relations Tom Davis said. “There’s nothing we can do about what China is sending our way, so why would we cripple our industries?”

Legislators, motivated by concern about climate change, in 2008 mandated carbon reductions, but they have never passed a plan to achieve those cuts. Inslee says pricing carbon would get the state on track and, in the process, raise $1 billion a year for government programs.

Davis said Inslee’s proposal would hurt food processors and the growers who sell to them…“There’s almost a religious fervor behind this proposal and that causes people to lose sight of the value of food production,” he said. “From a national security standpoint, it’s just short-sighted. These are not dirty industries.”

(Excerpted from an article in the Capital Press)

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