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IDFA, Others Call for Fairness in Senate Climate Change Bill

Nov 02, 2009

IDFA and 16 other trade industry groups last week sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, expressing concerns regarding draft climate change legislation. The groups believe that food and related industries would be unfairly affected by the recommendations included in the prospective legislation and urged the senators to modify the bill to reflect the concerns of the food industry.

"The facilities represented by this coalition emit roughly two percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, but are especially vulnerable to indirect costs," the letter stated. "Consumers of the products we produce could be negatively impacted by climate change legislation that significantly increases our energy, transportation, regulatory and commodity prices."

The letter was sent to Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), committee chair, and James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the committee. In addition to IDFA, the other organizations signing the letter include the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Bakers Association and the Snack Foods Association. For a full list, read the letter here.

Although Boxer announced tentative plans to hold a mark-up hearing on the proposed legislation as early as tomorrow, Republican members of the committee have threatened to boycott.

The letter urges the committee to consider providing allocations pro rata across all industry sectors instead of favoring primarily the energy sector. In addition, the letter calls for the legislation explicitly to preempt greenhouse gas regulatory efforts under the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act and to provide an offset system that limits the retirement of cultivated land.

"IDFA will continue to work with Congress to assure any climate change legislation balances greenhouse gas reductions with our nation's need for an abundant and affordable food supply," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative policy and economic affairs.

For more information, contact Slominski at jslominski@idfa.org.

 
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