Last month, I expressed my disgust with agriculture lobbyists inside the Beltway who paved the way for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill to pass out of the U.S. House. As a wheat grower, I was particularly frustrated by the short-sightedness of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG).
Well, to give credit where it’s due, although NAWG is still wrong as it can be on cap-and-trade, the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers this week met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and told him that CAWG’s executive committee unanimously opposes Waxman-Markey.
I hope they made the same point to Congresswomen Betsy Markey (D-Fort Collins), who seemed to think that cover she received from the D.C. ag lobby would persuade all of us poor dumb dirt farmers that she didn’t sell us down the river. Based on a statement by CAWG president Dave Anderson of Haxtun, few in this industry are persuaded:
“We have come to the conclusion the Waxman-Markey is not just bad for agriculture, it is bad for rural Colorado in general. By the very nature of where we live we use more energy in our daily lives than our more urbanized fellow citizens. It’s not just a hop, skip, and jump to the grocery store for many of us in eastern Colorado. This bill will increase the cost of living dramatically for all of our rural residents.
“It is very difficult to find any support among our members or in rural Colorado in general for Waxman-Markey and feel that the position we have taken reflects those views.”
That’s the way farm organizations are supposed to set policy — from the bottom up, not from the top down.