Senators and farmers' unions in the U.S. are arguing over climate change legislation which was passed by the House in June, the Associated Press reported.
The legislation, over which the Senate is expected to vote this fall, would cap emissions from major industrial sources, including power plants, factories, refineries and electricity and natural gas distributors. Emissions from agriculture, however, will be excluded.
The bill is being opposed because the steep rise in fuel and fertilizer costs would eat into farmers' and ranchers' profits. However, the bill's supporters argue that the offset provisions built into the bill, which allow companies to meet their pollution targets by investing in offset projects such as methane-capturing farms, will more than make up for the losses suffered by the farmers.
According to a USDA report, the 1-7.2% loss in income that farmers would suffer due to an increase in energy costs and, therefore, fertilizer which requires a large amount of energy to be produced, will be compensated by tens of billions of dollars granted for projects to reduce greenhouse gases.