Peterson, Pelosi meet with GOP lawmakers on energy bill

Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Peterson discussed the energy bill.
Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Peterson discussed the energy bill.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi and agriculture committee chairman Collin Peterson held a press conference today following their meeting with House Republican members to discuss the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which could have implications for the nation's farmers.

Peterson had expressed concerns about the bill's treatment of biofuels and cap-and-trade of carbon emissions. Peterson said discussions about those aspects of the legislation have been resolved and the bill is now likely to move forward.

"I think we're going to see the groups coming on board in support of this in the next day or two," Peterson said. "I intend to support this bill, and we thank the Speaker for her patience in dealing with us."

The bill includes a cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon dioxide by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and by 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

Critics of the plan have said cap-and-trade would raise the price of fuel and energy, acting as a tax on farmers and other consumers.

Economists at the Heritage Foundation said higher energy cost for farmers to power farm equipment and construction equipment would hurt farmers.

However, agriculture offsets in a cap-and-trade market could create revenue for farmers.