Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In the House, It's Peterson vs. Climate Bill

The resistance to the climate bill from Mr. Peterson and other farm-state Democrats has exposed divisions within the majority party over whether Congress should attempt such far-reaching and potentially costly environmental legislation at the same time it is trying to overhaul the U.S. health-care system.

Mr. Peterson, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, wants the party's leaders to soften the climate bill's impact on coal-burning power plants, scale back existing regulation of ethanol, and make other changes that, if adopted, could steer huge sums of money to farmers who engage in environmentally friendly practices.

With Republicans expected to oppose the measure en masse, the votes of Farm Belt Democrats are critical to the House climate bill's future. But some of the changes Mr. Peterson wants could make it less palatable to Democrats who are more liberal.

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