U.S. House of Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) Edward Markey (D-Mass.) have introduced a bill that would require greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, are thought to contribute to climate change.

The legislation includes new electric energy standards, as well as sets mandates for improving energy efficiency. Waxman chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committe, Markey is a panel member.

Provisions with in the bill would require many businesses to adopt technologies to cut emissions or to purchase “carbon credits,” which would allow them to emit more than a specified amount of greenhouse gases. Agricultural operations, including livestock operations, generally will not be covered as “capped” sectors under the legislation as drafted, points out the National Pork Producers Council.

Instead, the proposed legislation would develop a market of emission-reduction credits (termed “offset credits”) that pork producers and others in agriculture could generate and sell to industries covered within the capped sectors.

NPPC, which is monitoring the climate change issue, believes that provisions covering agricultural operations will be developed in separate legislation now being drafted by House Agricultural Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) Waxman has said he wants a climate change bill out of his committee before Memorial Day.

Source: NPPC