The climate change legislation currently making its way through the U.S. Congress will be detrimental to production agriculture if it becomes law, Craig Brown told Concho Valley cotton producers at the annual Summer Crops Conference in Ballinger last week.

Brown, who is vice president for producer affairs at the National Cotton Council of America in Memphis, Tenn., said the main problem with the bill is the increased burden of input cost to farmers and ranchers, which could be the final straw to drive many of them out of business.

“The costs will be increased on electricity, natural gas, diesel fuel, fertilizer, feed, equipment and all those things that greatly impact our industry particularly all the way from the field to the textile mill, including transportation to get cotton overseas where all the mills are located,” Brown said.

The bill, HR 2454, sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman; and Edward Markey, D-Mass., Energy and Environment Subcommittee chairman, narrowly passed the U.S. House in late June.

Known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, the legislation is on its way to the Senate and expected to be debated with a possible vote by Sept. 18.

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