Climate change bill empowers farmers

Sarah Gardner Jun 26, 2009
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Climate change bill empowers farmers

Sarah Gardner Jun 26, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The U.S. House is expected to vote today or tomorrow on historic legislation to regulate greenhouse gases. Democrats have been pushing hard to get the bill to the House floor and making a lot of concessions to get the votes they need. And as Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, farmers and ethanol producers are getting what they want.


Sarah Gardner: The climate change bill includes a plan to pay farmers for practices that keep carbon dioxide in the soil. But the bill puts the program under the supervision of the Agriculture Department, not the Environmental Protection Agency.

That’s a change green groups fear will weaken oversight. They’re also alarmed by concessions to the biofuels industry, including one they say underestimates ethanol’s impact on global warming.

Kate McMahon is with Friends of the Earth:

Kate McMahon: This whole situation is really unfortunate. and it’s really sad that our environmental champions didn’t stick up for us here.

But Daniel Weiss at the Center for American Progress Action Fund calls the concessions to agribusiness “marginal” and says an imperfect climate change bill is better than none.

Daniel Weiss: If it’s not passed, it’s hard to see how Congress would enact something better over the next two years.

The Senate will likely vote on the bill in September.

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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