Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Agriculture Industry Split On Climate Change

Echoing the deep divisions within the industrial sector of our economy over climate change legislation working its way through Congress, the agriculture industry is also split over Congressional proposals for greenhouse gas emission limits. In an effort to keep a seat at the table while legislative policy continues to be formed in Washington, the National Corn Growers Association has taken a wait and see position respecting the Kerry/Boxer Senate climate change bill. At the opposite extreme, the American Farm Bureau Federation says it will oppose the Senate version of climate change legislation even more fiercely than it lobbied against the bill which has already passed the House.

Salivating over a potential 25 billion gallon ethanol market once cap and trade legislation passes, the corn growers want to keep whatever influence they may have over provisions in a final measure respecting indirect land use analysis. Corn farmers object to including the effects of increased ethanol use outside the U.S. on denuding of tropical rain forests when computing the "carbon footprint" of corn based ethanol production. The Farm Bureaus, already disappointed with that possibility, see the legislative measures only getting worse for American farmers.
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