I am again hearing rumblings that the climate bill may pass the House. If so, it will be interesting to see what last minute bribes were added to make this happen. The most recent bribe we know about is the commitment to pay farmers not to grow crops with the weak window dressing that this is somehow a carbon offset.
The logic behind this farm offset provision is actually hilarious, as it undermines years of BS arguments by corn ethanol supporters. These ethanol supporters have argued, against the results of every study ever conducted outside of a state school in the corn belt, that the CO2 used in growing corn and processing it into ethanol is less than the CO2 absorbed by corn while growing.
But the argument of farmers in the recent climate bill is that farmers should be paid to do nothing (ie leave fields fallow) because this will reduce CO2 produced in growing the crops. But this is only the case if such CO2 in the production phase is larger than the CO2 absorbed from the crop's growth. So if Waxman-Markey passes, we will have expensive energy provisions based on the assumption that Co2 used in crop production simultaneously both is and isn't greater than CO2 absorbed in growth. Outstanding.
By the way, for those who still haven't figured out the power of the farm lobby, note that while farmers are paid not to do their business, no other class of individual or industry will recieve similar payments.