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Articles by Tom Philpott

Tom Philpott was previously Grist's food writer. He now writes for Mother Jones.

Featured Article

A farmer walks through his soy fields in Harvard, Illinois in July 2018.

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Senator Joni Ernst normally doesn’t see climate change as a major societal threat in need of a policy response. A magnet for agribusiness and oil-industry campaign contributions, she pleaded ignorance about climate science at a debate in 2014. She added, “I can’t say one way or another what is the direct impact, whether it’s manmade or not. I’ve heard arguments from both sides.” Yet Ernst has managed to find a piece of climate legislation she likes — one that involves one of her state’s major industries: agriculture. 

It’s called the Growing Climate Solutions Act, and Ernst counts among 49 senators on both sides of the partisan divide sponsoring it. Outside supporters include the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Pork Producers Council, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association. The American Farm Bureau Federation, an insurance conglomerate and agribusiness lobbying powerhouse that has long opposed federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions, is pushing it, as is the U.S. Chamber of... Read more

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