N.P.P.C. can't support climate change legislation

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON — National Pork Producers Council said it cannot support climate change legislation — even with the compromise language agreed to on June 24.

"N.P.P.C. is grateful to Chairmen Peterson and Waxman for reaching a compromise on language related to the agricultural greenhouse gas offset credits," the association said in a statement. "Although N.P.P.C. supports the Peterson amendment — and urges lawmakers to vote for it when it comes up during floor consideration — the organization remains concerned about the overall cost to U.S. pork producers of the climate change bill."

Significant increases in energy prices and in pork production costs under the House climate change bill are anticipated by N.P.P.C. "The hikes would be overwhelming to pork producers, who for the past 21 months have been losing an average of $22 per hog. From April 24 to June 19, and due mostly to the H1N1 flu crisis, the U.S. pork industry lost $352 million, or about $8.8 million per production day; for the remainder of 2009, producers are expected to lose an average of $9.82 per hog," the association stated.

Many pork producers now are at risk of being put out of business, and passage of this climate change bill would only make that risk greater and put more producers in jeopardy, the association continued.

"While the compromise language would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture rather than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to design and implement the agricultural greenhouse gas offset credits program and to develop any climate change regulations affecting livestock producers — a provision supported by N.P.P.C. — the organization doesn’t believe that revenues from the sale of offset credits for the majority of pork producers would counterbalance the energy and input cost increases associated with bill," N.P.P.C. concluded.

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