Climate Bill Payoffs

I am again hearing rumblings that the climate bill may pass the House.  If so, it will be interesting to see what last minute bribes were added to make this happen.  The most recent bribe we know about is the commitment to pay farmers not to grow crops with the weak window dressing that this is somehow a carbon offset.

The logic behind this farm offset provision is actually hilarious, as it undermines years of BS arguments by corn ethanol supporters.  These ethanol supporters have argued, against the results of every study ever conducted outside of a state school in the corn belt, that the CO2 used in growing corn and processing it into ethanol is less than the CO2 absorbed by corn while growing.

But the argument of farmers in the recent climate bill is that farmers should be paid to do nothing (ie leave fields fallow) because this will reduce CO2 produced in growing the crops.  But this is only the case if such CO2 in the production phase is larger than the CO2 absorbed from the crop's growth.  So if Waxman-Markey passes, we will have expensive energy provisions based  on the assumption that Co2 used in crop production simultaneously both is and isn't greater than CO2 absorbed in growth.  Outstanding.

By the way, for those who still haven't figured out the power of the farm lobby, note that while farmers are paid not to do their business, no other class of individual or industry will recieve similar payments.


  1. K:

    This resembles a repetition of the NAFTA fight in 1993. Clinton wanted it passed, most of the GOP did too since big business and Wall Street liked it.

    The unions hated it and the Democrat pols feared the unions.

    It took Bill a few weeks to bribe enough Democrats to ratify the treaty. But a President has all sorts of goodies to dispense and can almost always find politicians to take them.

    The fight over ObamaCare will be far worse. I don't think it can possibly pass as currently described. But there are ways. Perhaps they will skip a recorded vote.

    One way may be by a simple surprise, the Senate and House suddenly meet at midnight on Friday. Mysteriously, very few from the GOP are present. A voice vote, and Voila ObamaCare.

  2. Michael:

    My moms side of the family had been western Kansas farmers since the late 1800s and they hate these payments not to plant. I'm betting these payments not to plant are going to big agri businesses.

  3. txjim:

    I grew up a rancher/farmer and my family never participated in the govt scam programs. The Europeans that later bought our farm, at early 80's distressed prices, did participate in the scam. And continue to do so to this day. I have to hand it to those Europeans though - they appreciate govt. programs, global finance and a fine beer in ways me and my fellow rednecks do not.

  4. Michael:

    We Americans like our corn fed beef, why not corn brewed beer?

  5. Keith H:

    "note that while farmers are paid not to do their business, no other class of individual or industry will recieve similar payments."

    Although you could make a case that this is precisely what unemployment benefits do, and they seem quite effective at stopping people from working.

  6. Ian Random:

    Corn brewed beer (Chicha) sounds good, celiacs like myself only have sorghum beer.

  7. rob sama:

    “note that while farmers are paid not to do their business, no other class of individual or industry will recieve similar payments.”

    UAW workers. When they get laid off, they still get paid. Granted that was due to union negotiations, but in a very lopsided legal environment.

  8. bobby b:

    " . . . no other . . . will receive similar payments."
    - - - - -

    I thought we transferred to the underclasses so they would forgo revolution.

  9. James H:

    I only have a small yard, but I promise I won't grow any corn on it if the gov't gives me some money! Hey, in lieu of actual money, how about some free carbon permits? For only a small additional fee, I promise I won't cut down the trees in my yard, and for just a little more, I'll replace some plants that have died.

  10. stan:


    BS. The GOP is the party of small business and the taxpayer. Big Unions and Big Business have always preferred Big Government. This idea that the GOP is beholden to big business is a big crock of BS. Big business spreads its lobbyist cash to everyone in politics.

    Nafta benefitted the economy as a whole and the poorest consumers the most by lowering prices.

  11. K:

    stan: Perhaps you should try reading what I wrote.

    Most of the GOP backed NAFTA. The largest companies and banking and Wall Street backed it totally.

    Those are the facts.

    I never said the GOP was beholden to Wall Street or that big business didn't like big government. In fact big government was not mentioned or very relevant to NAFTA. But you prefer to sneer at things I didn't write.

    And I said nothing about what lobbyists, big business lobbyists or any other kind, do either.

    And I never said one word about whether NAFTA benefited the economy or consumers. Not one word.

    I do agree that NAFTA was of benefit to consumers. I backed it at the time and still do. But I never put that in my remarks.