Thursday, July 9, 2009

Senate Ag Panel's Members Look to Stake Major Claim in Climate Bill

From ClimateWire via the New York Times:
Powerful members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are angling to include even more farm and ethanol-friendly provisions to their chamber's energy and climate legislation than the House added to its bill last month.

Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and other members of his panel say they want to ensure any effort at wide-ranging climate legislation in the Senate will include all of the provisions that House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) brokered for the House cap-and-trade bill, H.R. 2454 (pdf). With the hard-fought Peterson deal as their starting point, the farm state lawmakers could have leverage to capture additional benefits for farmers and ranchers.

As Senate leadership aims to advance the bill this fall, agricultural interests could form a formidable coalition. Several key fence-sitters on the bill sit on the Agriculture Committee, and farm interests have wide appeal in the Senate. Each senator has some farm interests in his or her state -- unlike the House, which has more representatives from urban and suburban areas....MORE