Greedy Farmers Battle Climate Bill That Benefits Them

Demand government cash to take action
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 26, 2009 7:49 AM CDT
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman speaks during a news conference March 10, 2008.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Farmers are among those facing the highest risk from global warming—storms, droughts and swarms of insect pests are coming their way—yet “true to form,” they’re not interested in backing a bill to fight it without reaping even more government cash, sputters Steven Pearlstein in the Washington Post. What he calls "the world's most selfish lobby" is opposing the House cap-and-trade bill up for a vote today, even though farms are exempted, because it might raise their fuel and fertilizer costs, and they want the government to pick up the tab.

The farmers already demanded be able to sell as "offsets" anything they voluntarily do to reduce their own carbon footprints. And they wanted the program overseen by the Agriculture Department, their protector, not the Environmental Protection Agency. They wanted a 5-year moratorium on a ruling on whether ethanol production actually adds to global warning. They got all those things, and a farmers’ federation chief still called on House members to reject the bill, Pearlstein notes.
(Read more farmer stories.)