FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 23, 2009
Contact: Jake Rubin
KAGEN TOUTS REPORT SAYING FARMS WILL BENEFIT FROM ENERGY LEGISLATION
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. says Wisconsin’s farms will be a part of our energy independent future. Kagen welcomed the testimony of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack yesterday before the Senate Agriculture Committee saying that USDA economic analysis shows that the economic benefits to agriculture from the cap and trade legislation will likely outweigh the costs in the short term, and that the economic benefits from the markets in offsets will easily outpace increased input costs over the long term.
"As the only member of Congress from Wisconsin on the House Agriculture Committee, I am working hard to improve the bottom line for Wisconsin farm families and protect them as we take actions to become an energy independent nation," said Kagen. "This information from the Department of Agriculture says that Wisconsin farms will benefit from the Clean Energy bill, as we reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our environment."
Congressman Kagen voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act only after being provided assurances that Wisconsin’s family farms would be protected. Kagen worked closely with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Colin Peterson to ensure that farms would be rewarded for their ongoing efforts to operate their farms in an environmentally friendly manner. They also fought for provisions that the legislation would grow our economy by expanding the market for biofuels and renewable energy.
In his testimony, Secretary Vilsack said, "Our analysis demonstrates that the economic opportunities for farmers and ranchers can potentially
outpace – perhaps significantly – the costs from climate legislation. The agriculture sector will benefit directly from allowance revenues
allocated to finance incentives for renewable energy and agricultural emissions reductions during the first five years of the HR 2454 cap and
trade program. Funds for agricultural emissions reductions are estimated to range from about $75 million to $100 million annually from
"This bill will encourage private sector investments in clean energy to create new jobs in Northeast Wisconsin while supporting the industries
that have been part of our way of life," said Kagen.
You can view the USDA report here.