Trio of Senators Offer New Climate Change Proposal

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I.-Conn.) on Thursday held a press conference to talk up a proposal on climate legislation that includes caps on greenhouse gas emissions and incentives for offshore oil-and-gas exploration and nuclear power plants. The proposal won praise from President Barack Obama.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, it’s unclear whether the proposal can win over Democrats from heartland states and Republicans that are opposed to adopting caps on U.S. carbon emissions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has put off consideration of a climate bill until spring and is currently focusing attention on health care and jobs.

In related news, according to a Kansas State University review of six studies on the legislation, the U.S. farm sector stands to gain more overall than it would lose under the climate bill approved by the House. According to the review, all studies indicated costs for production would rise and over the short-term, per-acre profitability was likely to show modest declines, but pluses for agriculture include an exemption from emissions caps, provisions to ease the transition to higher fertilizer prices and the opportunity for revenue from development of carbon offset markets. The study about the reports, however, did not mention whether it addressed the massive downsizing of U.S. agriculture under cap-and-trade.

AFBF’s grassroots “Don’t Cap Our Future” campaign to defeat climate change legislation and cap-and-trade continues to gain momentum, said Cody Lyon, AFBF director of grassroots and advocacy, in a Newsline audio story.