Waxman-Markey Bill Too Much Too Soon

Waxman-Markey Bill Too Much Too Soon

Waxman-Markey Bill Too Much Too Soon. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the Waxman-Markey climate change legislation is too much too soon from the standpoint of agriculture. The Ag Committee member says that’s because it doesn’t give agriculture enough credit for the steps already taken to cut down on energy use and the release of carbon dioxide. He says it also fails to recognize improved productivity.

GRASSLEY: Just think of the increase in the last 20 years of the corn grown per acre, soybeans per acre, what’s been accomplished through GMO’s and those sort of things that have made agriculture more productive and at the same time using less energy bushel produced and were just not getting credit for it. Now Congressman Peterson is trying to bring that to the table and I would assume that they wouldn’t go ahead with a vote this week if there’s not some accommodation along Congressman Peterson’s line of thinking which is similar to mine.

But it appears the climate change measure is on the move. A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims a partial deal with House Ag Chair Collin Peterson - and the Speaker is reportedly moving the bill to the Rules Committee for a debate rule and possible floor action by Friday. Grassley says the problem is passing legislation that is equivalent to a tax on energy - which will work its way through the economy wherever there’s manufacturing or the use of energy. And if the rest of the world - including countries like China and India - doesn’t follow.

GRASSLEY: Pretty soon on every door of manufacturing you’ll see a sign, “Closed. Moved to China.” Because you could move to China, not have to worry about all the costs that Cap & Trade would put on you if you continued your manufacturing in the United States, so you would not have a level playing field for American manufacturing, you would outsource more jobs to China.

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe has said even if the House approves the Waxman-Markey bill the Senate won’t. Grassley says that doesn’t mean it will never come up - but he says they do not have the 60 votes needed - so it will not come up immediately.

GRASSLEY: So I think what happens there is you go through a process of negotiation maybe to make it reasonable – more reasonable that what the House bill is.

For Grassley - that would mean relying on an international agreement to ensure a level playing field with China and India - countries that put more carbon dioxide in the air than the U.S.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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