Differing views on climate bill's future
Successful Farming magazine Business Editor
6/30/2009, 1:11 PM CDT
Expensive fuel and fertilizer, or the salvation of the biofuels industry?
In a nutshell, that's how two different agricultural leaders view a climate bill that heads to the U.S. Senate after narrow passage in the House of Representatives last week.
A lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation thinks the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
"We don't anticipate that it will pass the Senate this year," Farm Bureau lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher told Agriculture Online.
The Senate will soon begin to consider President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, as well as continue to work on health care reform. With an already full agenda, and opposition from rural areas, Thatcher thinks a vote on climate change legislation is unlikely this year.
Farm Bureau applauds the efforts by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson to get USDA, not the EPA, to run the trading of carbon credits that farmers might sell to industries that emit greenhouse gases. But the group still opposes climate change legislation, viewing its costs as higher than potential benefits.
Farm Bureau doesn't believe a carbon credit trading program would provide enough income to counter expected higher costs for fuel and fertilizer, even if the Senate makes improvements in the bill.
"It's hard for me to believe they could change it enough in the Senate to make agriculture a winner," Thatcher said. Read More
The cap and trade bill came in a package that exceeded 1000 pages. Even though this has the potential to drastically affect, it seems that not a single Representative that voted for it could claim that they had read the entire bill. Our entire society depends on a reliable source of energy and our elected officials can’t take the time to even read about what they are voting on? Now that the Senate will be taking up this matter, you may want to suggest that they at least read it before they cast their vote.