Markey: Increased Food Prices from Drought is a Climate Change-fueled “Extreme Weather Food Tax”

WASHINGTON (July 25, 2012) – The harshest, most widespread drought since the Dust Bowl era will soon be felt at the grocery line, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today, predicting an increase of 3-4 percent in food prices from the loss of crops on American farms and increase costs for American ranchers. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today made the connection between these increased prices at the checkout line and the increasingly dangerous impacts of climate change.
Climate scientists have long predicted that increased carbon pollution would heat up the planet, changing the climate, and leading to impacts like longer, more intense drought and heat waves, more extreme storms, and other troubling effects.
Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement about the connection between extreme weather, the current drought, and an increase in food prices for American families:
“Increased food prices from drought fueled by global warming act like an extreme weather food tax on every single American.
“Even if the drought is not in your neighborhood, you will feel the pain at the checkout counter. Even if the heat wave has broken in your state, your cupboard may be emptier as you have to make hard choices at the grocery store. Even if the storms skipped your town, the disruptions will be felt all the way to your dinner plate.
“Climate change is here. It is real. And one way or another, it will impact every single one of us. Just last year, America experienced a record 14 extreme weather disasters that each totaled one billion dollars or more in damage.
“Whether it’s flash floods, flash drought, or a flash of lightning that triggers a wildfire, climate change is increasing the risk of highly destructive extreme weather events. And that is increasing costs for every single American, no matter where you live.
“It is time for Republicans to help our farmers and ranchers and families by releasing disaster aid and preventing more extreme weather disasters by cutting the carbon pollution that is harming our planet and our people.”

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