ILLINOIS FARM BUREAU SUPPORTS PETERSON AMENDMENT;
OPPOSES OVERALL CLIMATE CHANGE BILL
CONTACT: Lori Laughlin FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 25, 2009
BLOOMINGTON – The Illinois Farm Bureau is urging Congress to approve the Peterson Amendment to H.R. 2454, the American
Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, but the Bureau opposes final passage of the bill.
The amendment, authored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), includes a number of
provisions that are critical to the well-being of American agriculture, including:
Recognition of the role agriculture can play in capturing carbon in our soils;
Farmers’ eligibility for offset programs;
The oversight of offsets by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rather than by the Environmental Protection Agency
A prohibition of the EPA’s ability to penalize renewable fuels because of international deforestation;
A five-year study to determine whether international land use changes should even be used in Federal regulations.
While the Peterson amendment is an improvement to the climate change bill, it is the Illinois Farm Bureau’s position that
the overall legislation remains flawed. “We are deeply concerned that without further study, planning and revision, H.R.2454 will
reduce farm income, damage our ability to compete, and create an energy deficit that we will not be able to simply wish away,”
said Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson in a letter to Illinois’ representatives in Congress.
The Farm Bureau’s greatest concern is that the bill is based on unrealistic EPA projections of the nation’s ability to
generate energy sources that will not contribute to climate change. The legislation was written based on EPA predictions that
dozens of new nuclear reactors will be built across the country in the coming years. The EPA model also predicts a number of
commercially-viable coal-and-biomass fired power plants which would sequester emissions underground. “We don’t live in that
world,” said Nelson. “And farmers recognize that things don’t always turn out as planned,” he said.
Further, there are predictions that the legislation would cost farmers in the U.S. $5 billion per year starting in 2020 in the
form of increased costs for electricity, fuel and fertilizer which they are unable to pass along. Like last summer, higher energy
prices would also result in higher prices at the grocery store. If China and India do not join the U.S. in reducing greenhouse gas
emissions, farmers in the U.S. would be uncompetitive in international markets.
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and
ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization controlled by farmers who join through their County
Farm Bureau. IFB represents two out of three Illinois farmers.