Monday, June 22, 2009

Farm groups reject Waxman's offer to have USDA make carbon-credit payments but not certify them

"Farm and commodity groups have rejected House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman’s latest attempt to drum up agricultural support for his cap-and-trade climate bill," Julie Harker reports for Brownfield Network.

In a meeting late Friday, Waxman and co-sponsor Ed Markey offered funding for a Department of Agriculture program "that would make payments to farmers for carbon-reduction activities" as certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. "EPA would then issue offset credits to USDA to be sold, with all proceeds reinvested in the compensation program."

But National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson told Harker that NFU wants USDA scientists to do the certification and “We don’t want USDA or EPA to be determining the value. We want the market place to do that. ... We are concerned about adding a heavy load, an additional distribution mechanism and maybe a whole new bureaucratic function on top of a USDA that’s already struggling with the ability to timely deliver services." (Read more)

Stephen Power of The Wall Street Journal reports that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has asked the White House and Agriculture Secretary Tom Volsack Mr. Peterson on Friday "to intervene in negotiations," telling reporters, "I'm getting tired of going around in circles." (Read more)

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