By Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist
Democratic lawmakers Tuesday went too far currying favor with Midwesterner farmers and ethanol producers in efforts to pass a climate change bill.
Top Democrats, including Henry Waxman and Steny Hoyer, said the compromises were needed. In reality, they were unjustified sops to farm states.
-- The Dems said they would allow the Department of Agriculture to oversee how farmers reduce carbon pollution on their property.
That decision would rip the oversight away from the experts in the Environmental Protection Agency.
-- The new bill would gut the EPA's attempt to monitor greenhouse gases created by some of the ethanol produced by Midwestern farmers.
The EPA deserves to have that power so it can determine whether ethanol is hurting, rather than helping, this nation's attempt to combat global warming.
On Tuesday President Barack Obama urged Congress to move ahead with a strong bill to cut emissions that are warming the Earth.
But the Democrats gutted an important part of the bill in an effort to pass it. Environmental groups should strongly object and shine a light on the actions taken by the Democrats.