Senator Kit Bond, R-Mo., fears a cap-and-trade system aimed at limiting carbon pollution such as the one proposed by Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and John Kerry, D-Mass., would place a heavy burden on Midwest producers. That was one concern he raised during the opening Senate Environment Committee hearing on the Boxer-Kerry bill Tuesday. Bond noted the legislation does not include a five-year moratorium on the EPA's indirect land use rule, nor does it put USDA in charge of running the carbon offsets program.
Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is also concerned about the unfair burden on farmers in the Midwest. In a letter to Boxer and Kerry he said a provision that allocates a large portion of allowances to utilities regardless of their compliance obligation is, in effect, a transfer of wealth to the East and West coasts at the expense of regions like the Midwest, a region that will already shoulder a larger share of the burden under the proposed system.
Grassley questioned the wisdom of unilateral U.S. legislation outside an international agreement, but says if the leadership is going to consider unilateral climate legislation the economic burden should be shared equitably across all states and regions of the country.