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R-CALF USA, a national association of independent cattle producers, has come out against the cap and trade legislation now pending in Congress — in part because the cattle group says the bill will work a special hardship on rural areas. R-CALF says the act is “very complex and includes a host of provisions designed to drive up energy costs and thereby reduce energy consumption. Reduced energy consumption is not favorable to growing an economy.” 

First, R-CALF said the bill will raise the costs for cattle producers as it raises the price of energy. Second, the cattle raisers say the bill will “penalize smaller, lesser-capitalized utilities that cannot readily adapt to renewable technologies vis-à-vis larger, better capitalized utilities. These provisions will result in higher costs to rural electrical users.” Third, R-CALF claims the bill is “economic suicide” if other, faster growing economies (such as Brazil and China) don’t set similar limits on greenhouse gas production.

R-CALF also says the bill contains provisions that will affect mostly western cattle raisers. For instance, the bill would create a national “Wildlife Habitat and Corridors Information Program.” Cattle raisers have long feared federal mandates that could disrupt their pastures — in particular “corridors” that would be set aside for wildlife migration.

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