The American Bakers Association (ABA), Washington, D.C., joined other food-related trade organizations urging caution to the Senate Agriculture and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committees to fully consider the impact proposed climate-change legislation would have on the nation’s ability to provide an abundant, affordable food supply to both U.S. and world consumers.
“If not crafted correctly, climate-change legislation could significantly increase the price of food–especially the staples of a basic diet, such as bread and other baked goods,” said Robb MacKie, ABA president and C.E.O.
At a minimum, ABA and other organizations said that any climate change legislation should include the following safeguards:
• Carbon-credit allowances should be distributed in a fashion that takes into account the needs of manufacturers, distributors or retailers of food, agricultural commodity, feed or household products.
• If an emissions cap is adopted, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should not be allowed to lower the cap in the future or use the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions to levels less than the cap.
• Food processors, agricultural commodity handlers and processors, farmers, ranchers and others should be per-mitted to generate offsets. A well-designed offset system should strike a balance between the need for affordable offsets and the need for productive farmland.
• The legislation should preempt or harmonize state and regional climate-related programs.
• Climate-change legislation should be contingent upon Senate ratification of an international agreement among nations to reduce greenhouse gases.
• Any climate change legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions also should ensure a safe and affordable supply of food, feed and other agricultural products.
“ABA supports the goals of the legislation and is working with its food industry partners and key policymakers to achieve those goals in a cost effective way for bakers and consumers,” MacKie said.