Report contends that US climate policy will ‘fail the farm’

USA American flag lies on the golden wheat field. Toned Image.USA American flag lies on the golden wheat field. Toned Image.

Researchers at the Buckeye Institute, an Ohio-based free market think tank, have published a paper warning that the Biden administration’s net-zero climate control initiatives will ratchet up costs for American farmers and cause food-price inflation to rise.

The authors, Trevor Lewis and M. Ankith Reddy, noted that the Biden administration has restricted oil and natural gas drilling, making chemical feedstocks more expensive, and taken steps to introduce ESG reporting requirements that would track carbon emissions all the way along the supply chain.

Contending that “Federal policymakers are pursuing expensive climate-control and emissions policies that have largely failed in Europe,” the researchers sought to quantify the impact of these rules on farm operating costs.

Lewis and Reddy calculated that compliance with net-zero emissions policies and ESG reporting requirements will increase prices of farm inputs such as diesel fuel, propane, and nitrogenous fertilizer – and cause farmers’ costs to rise by at least 34%. They said that, in turn, these costs will be passed onto consumers, raising a family-of-four’s annual grocery expenses by $1,300.

The paper’s findings have been welcomed by a number of prominent Republicans.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said in a statement that “Newly released research by the Buckeye Institute confirms our greatest fears about environmental, social, governance (or ESG) investing . . . Imposing costly ESG requirements on America’s farmers and ranchers will have a devastating impact on US agriculture and world food security.”

Despite this, the paper does not consider the costs associated with a worsening ecological crisis, which environmentalists argue would be far more severe in the long run as extreme weather events become increasingly commonplace.

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