Climate Change Bill Heats Debate

June 25, 2009 07:00 PM

Rachel Duff
, Farm Journal Intern

The climate change bill and amendment by House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) will be voted on today in the House.
Ag industry leaders weigh in:
National Corn Growers Association
  • Supports adoption of the Peterson amendment, and remains neutral on the bill for now until they know the effect on growers.
  • Dislikes: NCGA is advocating for producers who have been engaged in conservation tillage and no-till practices since before 2001 to not be unfairly penalized. They also urge members of Congress to consider the implications of their policies.

American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Says yes to the Peterson amendment, and no to the bill.
  • Dislikes: AFBF believes the net farm income will fall by $5 billion annually by 2020 with little to no environmental effect. They believe the bill will cause an energy deficit for the U.S. by curtailing the use of fossil fuels without supplying any alternatives. They disagree with not requiring other countries (China and India) to undertake similar programs.
National Farmers Union
  • Yes to the Peterson amendment, and yes to the bill following the amendment.
  • Likes: The opportunity to be a part of the solution.
American Farmland Trust
  • Supports the bill.
  •  Likes: The opportunity to fight global warming to save the land.
National Pork Producers
  • Though they support the Peterson amendment, they don't support the bill.
  •  Dislikes: They anticipate an increase in energy costs and in pork production costs, which would be overwhelming for the struggling pork producers.
National Cotton Council

  • Supports the amendment. Opposes the bill.
  • Dislikes: The costs of higher energy and other production inputs for every sector of the U.S. cotton industry will far outweigh any benefits resulting from offsets. The international disparity, especially with India and China, which are competitors with U.S. cotton, is a concern. This would put the industry at a disadvantage in international markets.

American Soybean Association
  • Supports the amendment, but opposes the bill
  • Dislikes: The increase in cost to producers.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association

  • Appreciates the Peterson amendment, but they don't support the bill
  • Dislikes: Concerned about the increased costs of energy for producers.
National Association of Wheat Growers

  • Supports the amendment and the bill following the amendment.
  • Likes: They want agriculture to be a part of climate change legislation.

Renewable Fuels Association
  • Supports the amendment and supports the bill following the amendment.
  • Likes: The bill provides an opportunity for home-grown alternative fuel.
Environmental Defense Action Fund

  • Supports bill
  • Likes: It is a strong bill, it has broad support, it uses a proven policy approach, and there is political momentum behind the bill.
North Dakota Climate Solutions Partnership

  • Supports bill
  • Likes: The continued growth of the energy economy and reducing the dependence on foreign oil are positives in this bill. It creates a platform to address climate change.
Consistencies in the opinions: Nearly all the organizations support Peterson's amendment to the bill. But they seem to be about 50/50 on the bill after the amendment, so far. The main concern is for the cost for the ag industry. The main positives are the reduction in the dependence on foreign oil and finding a solution for global warming.

For More: Climate Change Compromise

You can e-mail Rachel Duff at

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