Frank Rehermann, chairman of the USA Rice Producers’ Group and a California rice producer, told the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry this morning that the House climate-change bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), would threaten U.S. rice producers’ economic viability.

“We are confronted with no economic upside under pending climate change legislation and plenty of economic downside,” Rehermann testified. He expressed USA Rice’s opposition to the House bill because it “will impose burdensome and, perhaps, unsustainable increases in our cost of production.” Such a move would result in the loss of thousands of American jobs in rice-producing areas, he said.

Rehermann thanked committee members “who have urged that the cap-and-trade provisions of climate change legislation be dropped entirely,” and strongly urged the committee to work with Senate leaders to postpone climate-change legislation until “alternative legislative approaches to curbing greenhouse gas emissions are developed, which do not injure American agriculture or the U.S. economy.”

Rehermann said that U.S. rice producers “can’t help but be severely disadvantaged” in export markets as U.S.-grown rice would become less competitive under the House-proposed climate change scheme.