The House Agriculture Committee voted Wednesday to ban federal subsidies to farmers with incomes averaging more than $1 million a year and stop farmers from collecting payments for multiple farm businesses.CQ: Pelosi Eyes Pre-Recess Vote on Farm Bill
Only farmers whose incomes exceed $2.5 million a year are now disqualified from such aid.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has been taking a hard look at moving the farm bill through the House in a make-or-break week just before August recess. But given the competing priorities, there are no guarantees.CQ: Labeling Fight Put Off As Farm Bill Markup Proceeds
Food labeling advocates and meat packers have been given a week to strike a deal on mandatory country-of-origin labeling, temporarily averting what was expected to be a heated debate over the hot-button issue.
I’m updating the entry on the energy and water earmarks debate as events progress, and updating that entry with more information about the earmarks as I pore over the document.
R. Jared Carpenter, vice president of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, a right-wing environmental non-profit founded by Gale Norton and Grover Norquist, pleaded guilty last week to tax evasion. Carpenter didn’t just take money from Jack Abramoff’s tribes and spend it for himself without paying taxes; he also worked on such environmental issues as climate change, participating in the US Climate Change Science Program workshop that produced the program’s 2003 strategic plan report.
In today’s New York Times, Andrew Revkin and Matthew Wald report on the state of solar energy in the United States and the world. The short version of their article is that the minimal research dollars seem to guarantee that the current projections of very small increases in the deployment of solar energy will come true. The article is accompanied by two infographics that use figures from the Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency. The figures show that the lion’s share of international R&D dollars go to nuclear fission research and that the EIA projects US electricity production, already dominated by coal, to be overwhelmingly produced by coal-fired plants in the following decades.
You can view them after the break.
- Bingaman-Specter’s Low Carbon Economy Act (S. 1766)
- Udall-Petri discussion draft
- Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act (S. 280)
- Kerry-Snow Global Warming Reduction Act (S. 485)
- Waxman Safe Climate Act (HR 1590)
- Sanders-Boxer Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act (S. 309)
- Feinstein-Carper Electric Utility Cap and Trade Act (S. 317), electric utility cap-and-trade
- Alexander-Lieberman Clean Air/Climate Change Act (S. 1168), electric utility cap-and-trade
- Stark Save Our Climate Act (HR 2069), a carbon tax bill
On Wednesday, Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced the text of the “Low Carbon Economy Act” (S 1766), an industry-friendly cap-and-trade bill.
The targets are 2006 levels of emissions by 2020, 1990 levels by 2030. No targets are set before 2020.
Price of CO2 is not set by market, but by the legislation at $12 a ton, rising each year at 5% above inflation. This decouples the price of CO2 from the target reductions, a central component of most cap-and-trade systems.
Allowances are intially given away to the private sector, the bonanza being reduced after five years. Allowances will also be given away for fuel converted to feedstock and for fuel or other GHG precursors (e.g. HFCs) exported from the United States (Section 301).
Sectors covered are limited to petroleum and natural gas plants and importers, and large coal-consuming (>5000 Ton/yr) facilities.
The bill was written by the National Commission on Energy Policy (a project of the The Bipartisan Policy Center, supported primarily by the Hewlett Foundation) and supported by coal-intensive and nuclear industry players including American Electric Power, Duke Energy Corp., Edison International, Exelon Corp., PNM Resources, PPL Corp. and NRG Energy Inc.
CQ reports that Air Force Undersecretary Ronald M. Sega plans to deliver the keynote address to a Coal-to-Liquids Coalition conference August 15 in West Virginia. Other speakers include John P. Murtha, D-Pa., House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee chairman, and Natural Resources Chairman Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va.
Lobbyists are still working to alter key parts of the legislation as it moves to the House floor and later to conference committee with the Senate. The American Petroleum Institute has been lobbying to limit the impact of tax measures that would effectively boost oil companies’ corporate income tax rate and increase royalty payments. Coal and nuclear advocates are pushing for additional loan guarantees and tax breaks. Beef and poultry producers that use corn feed hope to dilute incentives for corn-based ethanol.
In today’s Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the Kyoto Protocol, Dana Rohrabacher calls federally funded climate scientists “scientists on the dole”. Read that and more from my live-blog coverage of the hearing.
This is my first real post on Hill Heat, the dynamic site focused entirely on covering global warming developments on Capitol Hill. You’ll find a complete listing of global-warming related Congressional hearings and other events, as well as informative commentary and analysis. Future features include bill tracking, live webcasts, and the ability to search the hearing database by committee, topic, witness, or whatever you choose. Drop me a line at cunctator at hillheat any time.