WASHINGTON, D.C. – Minnesota’s 7th District Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson, who chairs the Agriculture Committee, has reached a deal with other House leaders over the controversial climate change and energy bill.
Peterson had previously voiced objections to the massive legislation, which he said did not take agricultural interests into account.
Among other things, Peterson wanted to see a bigger role for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as opposed to the Environmental Protection Agency, and more offset options for farmers.
House leadership was forced to listen to the recalcitrant representative or risk losing almost 50 votes from rural state lawmakers and, quite probably, failing to pass the bill.
“Well, you guys will be happy to know we have an agreement finally,” Peterson said on Tuesday, according to CongressDaily. “We have something that I think works for agriculture.”
As expected, the deal — struck Tuesday night — favors the farm industry over environmental groups.
It puts the USDA in charge of emissions projects in rural areas and adds language that would limit the inclusion of indirect land use in greenhouse gas emissions calculations.
A revised version of the bill, released on Monday, would also give rural electric cooperatives and other small Midwestern utilities pollution allowances to ease the transition.
Peterson has now said that he will vote for the bill, which Democratic leaders are aiming to bring to the House floor on Friday.