Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Climate Change Legislation

NCGA concerned agriculture not mentioned in climate change bill
Monday, May 18, 2009, 3:02 PM
by Ken Anderson

Climate change legislation introduced into the House of Representatives last week does not specifically mention agriculture’s role in a market based cap-and-trade system.

That’s a major concern to the National Corn Growers Association. In a letter to Henry Waxman, chair of the House energy committee and chief sponsor of the bill, NCGA says it cannot support the legislation unless it clearly provides a mechanism by which corn growers can sell carbon credits on the market. NCGA believes the bill will increase farmers’ input costs, without specific opportunities to offset those added expenses.

According to a story on DTN, the fact that agriculture’s role is not outlined in the bill doesn’t necessarily mean Waxman sees no role for agriculture. It says Waxman may leave it up to the House Agriculture Committee to add agriculture’s role to the legislation. It’s also possible an amendment for agricultural offsets could come up in Waxman’s full committee debate next week. Link

There are definitely more questions than answers when it comes to the impact that the climate change bill will have on agriculture. One thing we know for sure is that it will be affected. Hopefully our lawmakers will realize all of the good work that farmers and ranchers do to sequester greenhouse gasses and provides a mechanism to be fairly rewarded for our efforts.

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