It looks like full speed ahead...
The deal over CAFE specs includes good news for grain farmers, and bad news for the livestock sector.
It's also not clear what, if any, concessions in the final version of the energy bill will be made to oil and gas companies. The measure is reported to call for a massive increase in subsidized biofuel production, something the oil industry has opposed [More]With blithe disregard for our best customers, feed grain producers have apparently won a significant increase in the RFS. While the deal has yet to survive the full Congress, the pressure for a deal for Democrats makes approval likely. And since no tax increases are included, I don't think the president will fight this one.
It looks like the RFS is going to 36B by 2022. This is the reassurance the ethanol lobby needed to keep expanding.
On the RFS, what I know now and can share is that the energy bill will require 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022 and will set lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions thresholds for renewable fuels. Once enacted, this will be a major first--both in using GHGs as a standard and shifting our biofuels policies to focus on performance rather than feedstock or technology. There are also important land-use, air, and other environmental safeguards. Of course we'll have see the final language from the House and then from the Senate, but I'm confident that this bill would go a long way towards getting biofuels right. [More]
As far as I'm concerned this will be the big impact from Washington for most farmers - excpet cotton and rice. For them the payment limits is still a big worry.
And it appears with this compromise Speaker Pelosi has established control of the House. This factor could prove interesting for the old-boy farm establishment.
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