Agriculture Caught in Biden-GOP Climate Fight


Agriculture is caught in the middle between President Biden’s push for aggressive moves against climate change and GOP efforts to preserve fossil fuels. Biden’s policies designed to speed a net-zero emission economy with electric-vehicles, a freeze on federal oil and gas leases, and a halt to the Keystone XL pipeline, were quickly met by a wall of GOP opposition.

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says, “It’s going to raise the price of energy to farmers, and it’s going to be very wrong to do it. And it’s going to hurt jobs, and it’s going to hurt agriculture and hurt the profitability of family farmers.”

Renewable Fuels Association chief Geoff Cooper says corn ethanol as part of a Biden climate agenda can make up demand lost to some Trump EPA waivers.  “You don’t need to wait for the deployment of new technologies. They can say, ‘we’re rejecting these pending waiver petitions. We are restoring the 500 million gallons and, in so doing, they would be saving, we’ve estimated, upwards of 12 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions,” according to Cooper.

But Biden’s push to end sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, helped by GM’s pledge to do the same, will curtail ethanol sales, cost billions, and won’t replace heavy-duty farm and other vehicles. GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito from coal-producing West Virginia says the battery technology needed is not ready saying  “renewables can’t power our country at a hundred percent, all the time.”

And Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell adds, “According to one study, the decision on federal lands will leave us down nearly 1-million American jobs by next year, alone.  It’s a heck of a way to kick off a presidency.”

More than two dozen energy state GOP senators asked to meet with Biden on his recent orders they claim risk thousands of energy-jobs and worsening the rural-urban divide after Biden vowed unity at his inauguration.