Climate change legislation unveiled last week (H.R. 2454) “ignores the complex needs of a very diverse U.S. agricultural industry” and will draw opposition from the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a letter sent to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, AFBF President Bob Stallman said that while the bill does not include agriculture under the greenhouse gas cap provisions, in other respects, the bill fails to include key principles Farm Bureau identified as critical to U.S. agriculture. “We have consistently advocated that any cap-and-trade bill must: recognize and support the benefits agriculture can provide; make economic sense for agriculture; provide for a strong leadership role for USDA; and base any carbon sequestration program on sound science,” the letter stated. According to Stallman, some sectors of the economy were accommodated as the legislation was crafted, yet the bill ignores the complex needs of American agriculture. Committee debate on the legislation began Monday. Republicans are expected to introduce up to 400 amendments to the bill; ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas) indicated he plans to offer a substitute for the entire bill.
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