Association Addresses Senate Ag Committee on Energy Issues

This week, Association President/CEO Roger A. Isom spoke to the Senate Ag Committee as a panelist at a committee hearing entitled “Navigating Threats to California Agriculture – Continuing the Discussion.”  Speaking on behalf of not only the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association (CCGGA) and the Western Agriculture Processors Association (WAPA), but also the Ag Energy Consumers Association of which he chairs the board, Isom was one of five panelists that addressed everything from SGMA and water to energy, land use and pesticides.  Isom focused on the impacts of the State’s efforts to address climate change and how the shortage of electric infrastructure, skyrocketing electric rates and the high cost of new electric equipment will make California agriculture even more non-competitive than it is today.  Isom opened his comments by stating “California is headed for a train wreck.  Agriculture in California is doing these things to address climate change and the state is not ready.  We don’t have the infrastructure; we already pay the highest electric rates in the country, and we cannot pass along the cost to pay for the new infrastructure or the new equipment.”   Senate Ag Committee Chair Melissa Hurtado thanked Isom for his comments and thought the hearing was important for the legislature to hear the concerns.  Will the legislature do anything to step in and change things.  Only time will tell.  But one thing is for sure.  Electric rates are getting a lot of attention by the legislature, and we are only beginning to feel the pain.  Maybe this will be our opportunity to reign this runaway freight train in.