CA Farmers Warn Utility Regulators about Rising Energy Costs
California Farm Bureau, CEA call for additional domestic production through a balanced energy policy

LOS ANGELES, CA – The president of the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) told the nation’s public utility commissioners today in Los Angeles that the United States needs to have greater control over its energy destiny, while seeking a proper balance between renewable and traditional sources of energy.

Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger spoke at a luncheon hosted by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) in conjunction with the summer meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

At the conclusion of the luncheon, Wenger released the following statement:

“As the major supplier of the country’s fruit, vegetable and nut crops, California farms and ranches are vitally dependent upon reliable, predictable energy supplies and prices.  We can’t be subject to the whims of foreign energy suppliers. Energy costs represent a significant share of farm costs and are often the most difficult segment of those costs to manage.  We seek a forward-thinking and balanced energy policy—one that relies on both renewable and traditional sources.

“We must pursue safe development of available domestic sources, including oil supplies—offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—and including hydroelectricity. Hydroelectric energy is an important, renewable resource, with multipurpose benefits that include flood control, water supply and recreation. We must broaden our thinking in order to assure a safe and reliable domestic energy supply,” he added.

Wenger said California farmers continually look for ways to improve energy use efficiency and have themselves become energy producers through the on-farm development of solar, wind and methane digesters.  He called for science-based national energy policy that relies on all forms of energy.

CEA president David Holt also released the following statement:

“California’s farmers and ranchers are a vital part of the state’s economy. Our goal was to make sure that regulatory commissioners are aware of the impact that government mandates have on ratepayer bills, including those in the agriculture community. Hopefully, today’s event will spur action from regulators and our elected representatives toward creating a more balanced, sensible energy policy that protects consumers from high prices while expanding the production of domestic energy supplies.”