Peterson to Introduce Bill to Delete Indirect Land Use Provision; Grandfather Biodiesel Facilities

May 13, 2009 07:00 PM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Likely Peterson initiative part of his 'wish list' to support climate change legislation

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

Usually reliable contacts signal that House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) will soon introduce a bill that would delete indirect land use provisions in the implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard 2 (RFS2) rule that EPA proposed last week.

Peterson is also expected to offer language extending a similar "grandfather" clause on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions to biodiesel plants that currently is limited to ethanol production facilities under construction by Dec. 19, 2007. Ethanol plants under construction by that point do not have to meet a 20 percent reduction in GHG. Peterson's reported plan would allow biodiesel plants meeting that same construction timeline to avoid having to meet a 50 percent reduction in GHG, which was part of the EPA's proposed rulemaking.

The likely legislative initiative is expected to be part of Peterson's "wish list” for even considering supporting the pending cap-and-trade/climate change bill, which is expected to be marked up next week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Comments: Peterson's current opposition to the climate change bill, for several reasons, is expected to have some Democratic members on the House Ag Committee follow the chairman's eventual position on the matter. This is why White House and House Democratic leaders will likely at least consider negotiating with Peterson.

The fate and timeline for getting climate change legislation through both chambers of Congress is murky, with a very rocky road ahead for the initiative in the Senate. Many Republicans believe they have a political/election issue and will likely oppose whatever comes out of either chamber, leaving moderate Democratic members, and lawmakers from coal- farm- and crude oil states, cautious about supporting the legislation, at least in its current form.

Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week are expected to offer dozens of amendments to the markup vehicle pushed by Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). "Republicans believe that rising gas prices are their trump card against a Democratic-sponsored climate change bill," The Hill reported. "The GOP is struggling to regain footing after two successive electoral blowouts, but party leaders are relishing an opportunity to debate what they call a 'national energy tax.'"

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


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