Agriculture mega-corps push politically-engineered carbon trade

Despite an exemption from a proposed cap on greenhouse gas emissions, Big Agriculture has declared war on clean energy legislation making its way through Congress.

Grist has the details on what it describes as a sop to large agribusinesses to continue its old, polluting ways:

As the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill moves forward in the House, Big Ag interest groups are circling their plows and sharpening their pitchforks. Some of the largest corporations in the agribusiness sector—including the GMO-and-herbicide giant Monsanto—are pushing to control how agriculture would fit into the bill’s cap-and-trade scheme.

The main agent for their will is House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who has launched a veritable jihad to make sure the historic climate legislation hews to the interests of “production” (i.e., industrial) agriculture. Via Farm Policy blog, here’s an MP3 clip of Peterson’s latest harumphing on Waxman-Markey, in an interview with a radio program called Agritalk, which is sponsored by Monsanto, Syngenta, and Archer Daniels Midland.

Peterson has vowed to line up 35 to 40 Democratic representatives from ag-heavy states to vote against the bill on the House floor if his agenda isn’t accepted—giving him something close to de facto veto power. In the AgriTalk segment, Peterson says, “I don’t think it [Waxman-Markey] has the votes” to prevail on the House floor. Translation: If I don’t get what I want, I’m squashing it.

So what part of the Blue Dog faction, with whom Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa, often caucuses, will Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership capitulate to on a key Congressional priority?

Time will tell.

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