Published on: 22:49PM Jun 23, 2009
House leaders plan to vote Friday on a climate change bill that would set up a complex cap-and-trade to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
President Obama said yesterday in a press conference that incentives in the bill to curb GHG emissions “will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy.”
In turn, President Obama hopes that profitability will lead to development of new technologies that lead to new industries that create millions of new jobs (Isn’t that what the $800 billion stimulus package was supposed to do?).
Most House Democrats are on board with the legislation, but House Republicans have criticized what they call “cap-and-TAX” legislation, saying it will sharply raise energy costs for consumers and send jobs overseas.
One major Democratic dissenter is House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn), who wants to change the rules for carbon credits that farmers may receive for practicing no-till or other conservation practices on their farms that keep carbon dioxide sunk down in the soil. Peterson simply wants the authority for evaluating offsets moved from the EPA to the USDA, a position supported by nearly everyone in agriculture.
Environmentalists, however, fear that USDA might use lax standards for determining carbon offsets on farms.
Given EPA’s track record with regulating agriculture industry, I would argue that if the Obama Administration truly wants “the profitable kind of energy”, the authority for evaluating agricultural offsets must be taken out of the hands of environmentalists.