As discussions of the Build Back Better Act, a $3.5 trillion Congressional reconciliation bill, have increased within the past week, Oklahoma Farm Bureau has been closely monitoring the progression of the bill and is working to ensure farmers and ranchers are not burdened with additional taxation or other negative economic consequences.
The current version of the bill could impose a significant “fee” or tax on methane emissions on the oil and gas sector but does not include a tax on agriculture.
American Farm Bureau economists recently conducted an analysis on the bill to determine the potential impacts if it were applied to agriculture in the future in response to requests from congressional committee staff.
“We did so based on the formula set forth in legislative proposals that impose a methane tax on the oil and gas sectors,” said Sam Kieffer, American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President for Public Affairs. “We believe this analysis was informative and helpful in demonstrating that such a tax would have been devastating to agriculture.”
AFBF’s calculations on the 2019 EPA Emission Inventories monitoring CO2 emissions estimate the impact on agriculture would be more than $414 billion dollars if added into the bill.
While the bill currently does not propose a methane tax on agriculture, adding taxes to the energy sector could lead to higher prices on critical inputs for agriculture.
Farmers and ranchers are the first conservationists and work each day to implement practices to reduce methane emissions. In fact, according to the Oklahoma Beef Council, the U.S. beef industry alone reduced emissions per pound of beef produced by more than 40% from 1961 to 2018 while producing more than 60% more beef per animal.
OKFB policy supports reduced regulations on agriculture and opposes additional taxation on farmers and ranchers. Alongside AFBF, OKFB will educate and advocate on behalf of our members as these proposals make their way through Congress.