A month ago, I wrote about the staggering amount of money energy lobbyists had given to members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and how coincidentally those who had received the most money were causing the most trouble. Ever since the bill passed out of that committee, its main obstacle has been the Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson. Peterson has sought to change something that isn’t even in the bill, which is the EPA seeking to take into account the full life cycle of biofuels so that we’re only using biofuels to replace conventional ones when there aren’t adverse effects like tropical deforestation. This threatens much of the current ethanol industry, so Peterson has build up a voting block of 30-40 rural farm state Democrats, and is threatening to derail the climate bill unless he gets what he wants. He also wants farmers to be able to sell billions of dollars worth of offsets on the offset market for farming practices trap which more carbon in the soil and plants.
Now I actually think it’s okay for there to be provisions in the bill where farmers can sell real and verifiable offsets on the domestic offset market we’re going to inevitably have if this bill passes. See 8 reasons why farmers should support Waxman-Markey. However right now the bill allows for that even though agriculture is exempt from the cap on greenhouse gas emissions. The issue Peterson has is he wants the process by which offsets are verified to be adjusted in the bill so that the new process is tilted in favor the benefiting the big agricultural industries. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then to find that Peterson, like his Energy and Commerce Counterparts, has been bought out by big Ag. A table says a thousand words.
|Energy & Natural Resources||$145,335||$138,585||$6,750|
|Finance, Insurance & Real Estate||$617,164||$579,774||$37,390|
|Lawyers & Lobbyists||$181,785||$92,753||$89,032|