Late last week, Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) released details of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S.1733) to the public. However, the response from two mainstream groups representing U.S. corn growers and farmers was lukewarm, at best.

“As with other climate-change bills, we have concerns about the economic impact on farmers and ranchers because of potentially higher fertilizer and energy costs,” writes Bob Stallman, president, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), in a statement regarding the proposed bill. “We do not want to see farmers driven out of business due to additional regulation and the potential for higher input costs. Agriculture also could be forced to shrink due to land moving out of production into trees to sequester carbon. We also believe it is imperative that any energy legislation must assure a greater supply of nuclear energy, renewable fuels and natural gas for American consumers.”

Likewise, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), provided a skeptical response to the newly proposed climate and energy bill from Sens. Kerry and Lieberman. “NCGA could not support the Waxman-Markey bill on the House side due to the potential adverse economic impacts on corn growers,” writes Darrin Ihnen, NCGA president, in a statement about the new Senate proposal. “In light of that, we will once again conduct an analysis of the new Senate version of climate legislation before taking a position on the Kerry-Lieberman proposal. We will also wait for the official analysis from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the coming weeks.”

To read NCGA’s full statement, click here: http://ncga.com/ncga-study-comment-new-senate-climate-and-energy-bill-5-12-10. To read AFBF’s full statement, click here: http://www.fb.org/index.php?fuseaction=newsroom.newsfocus&year=2010&file=nr0512.html

Shortly after these statements were made from these farm groups, Sen. Kerry threatened that “if Congress won’t legislate a solution, [then] the EPA will regulate one.” To read Sen. Kerry’s full press release, click here: http://kerry.senate.gov/cfm/record.cfm?id=324928.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but something about Sen. Kerry’s threat strikes me as a bit unconstitutional. I thought a true democracy was a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” not a government of the bureaucrats by the bureaucrats for the bureaucrats, nor a government of the politicians by the politicians for the politicians.

What about you, do you like the idea of giving more government control over the nation’s energy use to the government and its bureaucrats and politicians? Or, do you think the Kerry-Lieberman proposal is good for America and America’s food producers?

Whether you agree or disagree with the need for a climate-change bill and its benefits to food producers, I’d be happy to consider your opinion on the topic. When writing, please let me know your name, where you farm or work, what your comment is and whether or not I have permission to use your comment in a future Corn E-Digest newsletter. You can contact me (John Pocock) at: john.pocock@penton.com.

You're also welcome to write to me if you have concerns or questions about this newsletter or if you have ideas on topics you’d like to see me write about for future issues. I look forward to hearing from you.