CiuntryMark Co-op has led the way in Indiana and one of the leaders nationally over the past decade in developing and promoting new ways to use both ethanol and soy biodiesel. Those are two of the so-called renewable, alternative energy sources. The co-op is also leading the ay in opposing cap and trade legislation which leaders claim could cripple their business.
Charlie Smith, CountryMark's CEO has been vocal since last year in opposing the Cap and Trade legislation pending before Congress. While utility companies serving various parts of Indiana have taken varying views, from REMC's also adamantly opposing it to some other utilities opting to support it as they try to improve the legislation, with what they believe is some limited success, CountryMark has been focused and vocal from the start. Smith's view is that it could be devastating for a fuel supplier such as his company and could threaten his company's ability to continue to operate profitably.
Recently, we asked Smith for an update on what he thought of the latest proposal on the cap and trade idea before Congress in the U.S. Senate. As before, he's not bashful about expressing his views and stating his case. Here is his exclusive answer to www.indianaprairiefarmer.com.
"We have evaluated the Kerry-Lieberman legislation being drafted in the Senate," begins the president and CEO of CountryMark. "As we studied this legislation, it became evident that Senators Kerry and Lieberman have simply massaged the energy tax legislation that passed the House (last year) to give the appearance of new-thought legislation.
"Consistent with the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill, Kerry Lieberman is a significant tax on almost all forms of energy used in the country today. In terms of damage to CountryMark and Indiana, the Kerry-Lieberman legislation would be very similar to the (earlier) Waxman-Markey proposed legislation.
"CountryMark estimated the company's tax liability under the Kerry-Lieberman Cap and Trade legislation would approach $100 million per year. This burden, compared to CountryMark's average net annual income over the past five years of $43 million per year, clearly indicates the legislation's impact on CountryMark's economic sustainability."
That's what Hoosiers commonly call telling it like it is!