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Agriculture Lobbyists Not Happy With Climate Change Legislation

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The Hill reports that the agriculture lobby is troubled by aspects of the Senate climate change bill.

The American Farm Bureau and the National Corn Growers Association reportedly are concerned that farmers will not qualify for carbon offset benefits laid out in the legislation -- projects to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon offsets could hugely benefit farmers who use farming methods to curb carbon emissions.According to the American Farm Bureau's Web site:

"America's farmers and ranchers did not fare that well in the House-passed climate change bill and they fare even worse in the Senate bill," said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. "There are few benefits and even greater costs to agriculture and the American public."

Farming groups are also concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency will be overseeing the carbon offset program -- many in the industry, including the National Corn Growers Association, would prefer it if the Department of Agriculture was in charge.

Senators Barbara Boxer and John Kerry introduced a draft of the climate change bill last month after the House narrowly passed its version of the bill in June. The Senate's bill aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent in 2020 -- the House's version would cut emissions by 17 percent in 2020, according to the Washington Examiner.