With Senate Pact, Climate-Focused Farm Bill Becomes Possible
By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming
Agriculture.com - 7/29/2022
Farm-state lawmakers would have the funds to write a climate-focused farm bill if Congress enacts a broad-ranging package that President Biden on Thursday called “the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis.” The package includes $20 billion for voluntary conservation practices on the farm, such as cover crops, to sequester greenhouse gases in soils, plants, and trees.
There was an additional $14 billion in rural spending and $5 billion for forests in the Inflation Reduction Act unveiled by Senate Democrats. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he expected the Senate would vote on the package next week.
“We are equipping farmers, foresters, and rural communities with the necessary tools and resources to be a part of the solution and grow their local economies at the same time,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow...
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U.S. Senate Climate Deal 'Transformative', Backers Say
By Timothy Gardner, International Business Times
The nearly $370 billion in climate and energy security measures in the budget reconciliation deal U.S. Senate Democrats struck on Wednesday were whittled down from previous versions of the bill, but highly praised by backers of clean energy.
Early versions of the bill had $555 billion in tax breaks for clean energy such as wind and solar power as well as batteries and nuclear reactors.
Still, Wednesday's package would cut U.S. emissions 40% by 2030, a summary released by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's office said.
The baseline for the cut was 2005, Leah Stokes, a professor of climate and energy policy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who advised Democrats on the bill.
Clean energy backers said it would go a long way toward President Joe Biden's goal of decarbonizing the U.S. economy by 2050.
"It's an absolutely transformative package," said Stokes. She said the bill would boost American manufacturing in everything from batteries to solar energy to electric vehicles and contains the largest environmental justice investment ever...
Senate Deal Boosts Climate-Smart Ag
Climate-Smart Ag Funding, Expansion of Renewable Energy Tied to Senate Deal
By Chris Clayton, DTN/Progressive Farmer
OMAHA (DTN) -- Farmers will see an injection of programs and $20 billion in funds for climate-smart agricultural practices to help lower emissions from agriculture under the climate deal reached by Senate Democrats on Wednesday.
Farmers and rural landowners also will see a greater push over the next eight years from developers of solar and wind projects -- and likely carbon pipelines -- as well as those projects seeking to capture billions in tax incentives as well.
Along with that, biofuel companies also will see more incentives through tax credits and grants to build out more renewable fuel infrastructure, especially to develop sustainable aviation fuels.
Those are a few of the key areas for agriculture and rural America in a deal struck by Senate Democrats for a $739 billion package reached between Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Like multiple "deals" over the past two years, the agreement still demands every Senate Democrat fall in line for a possible vote that has yet to happen.
Republican opposition would likely be unanimous in the Senate, even though senators up for reelection, such as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have been among the biggest advocates for expanding biofuels and tax credits for wind energy.
The deal, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, focuses on climate change and energy, along with changes in Medicare purchasing of prescription drugs, and funded by a 15% minimum tax on large corporations. The bill also projects using about $300 billion over time to reduce deficit spending as well.
Still, President Joe Biden, whose climate and economic plans had been thwarted multiple times by Manchin over the past 18 months, released a statement from the White House praising Senate Democrats for reaching a deal.
"This is the action the American people have been waiting for," Biden said. "This addresses the problems of today -- high health care costs and overall inflation -- as well as investments in our energy security for the future."
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Manchin’s Desire to Tax Corporations Helped Resurrect Biden Agenda
By Laura Litvan, Bloomberg
July 28, 2022
Senator Joe Manchin said he resurrected negotiations on a tax, energy and climate bill that had formed the core of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, in part, to target corporations that aren’t paying taxes.
Manchin, a key Democratic vote in the evenly divided Senate, restarted talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer just days after walking away earlier this month after inflation hit 9.1%. Notably, the West Virginia senator kept Biden at bay for fear of leaving the president politically exposed.
“I was not going to bring the president in,” Manchin told West Virginia radio host Hoppy Kercheval. “I did not think it was fair to bring him in,” adding that the deal “could have gone sideways.”
Manchin said he ordered his staff to study ways to “scrub the bill down” so that no aspects would worsen inflation. His staff, he said, ultimately wrote the bill in coordination with Schumer aides.
A minimum corporate tax rate wouldn’t spark higher consumer prices, Manchin said, and also would make the tax code more fair.
“Tell me why a corporation that’s $1 billion in book value -- that means the largest corporations in America -- aren’t paying a minimum 15% taxes,” Manchin said.
Manchin also defended another key tax change in the deal announced late Wednesday: raising $14 billion from taxing carried interest, or profits made by some investment managers, at a higher rate...