U.S. Farm Group Wary Of Climate Bill

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The largest U.S. farm group called on Congress on Jan. 12 to prevent the government from regulating greenhouse gases if lawmakers kill climate change legislation.

The six-million-member American Farm Bureau Federation also underlined its firm opposition to legislation to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for boosting global temperatures.

In their first item of policy work, delegates at the AFBF annual meeting voted to support “any legislative action” to suspend authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases under air pollution laws.

EPA cleared the way for such regulation a month ago by ruling that greenhouse gases endanger human health. It offered a route to control greenhouse gases, if Congress does not pass a climate law.

Farmers are dubious of Obama administration analyses that say higher fuel and fertilizer costs resulting from climate legislation would be outweighed by revenue from contracts to offset greenhouse gases by planting trees and crops that capture carbon.

A USDA study says up to eight per cent of crop and pasture land would be converted to woodlands by 2050 because carbon-capturing trees would be more profitable than crops.

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