Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Climate Bill Can't Harm Food Producers

Groups seeking ag-friendly changes to climate bill
Dan Looker
Successful Farming magazine Business Editor
5/26/2009, 3:44 PM CDT

Farm groups reacted negatively to last week's passage if a climate change bill by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but some are waiting to see if the bill can be improved before deciding to support it or work against it.

Mark Gaede, a lobbyist for the National Association of Wheat Growers, wants to see trading of agricultural offsets added to the climate change bill, but he thinks other farm groups may be making too much of the fact that agriculture isnt mentioned in the bill yet.

"Because there's been one markup of the bill in one committee does not mean we should be running around saying the sky is falling," Gaede told Agriculture Online.

Gaede said that he didn't expect to see agriculture in a bill coming out of the Energy and Commerce Committee. And that those involved in writing the bill have said their goal of capturing 2.2 billion tons of carbon a year requires including carbon trading of carbon credits from farms and forests.

"The only way you can get there is if you have agricultural and forestry offsets," Gaede said.

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Agriculture has to keep an incredibly close eye on this bill. It has the potential to cripple food production if it is written poorly. On the other hand, there is the potential for agriculture to continue leading the way as true environmentalists. Your elected officials in Washington really need to hear from farmers and ranchers on this issue. Let them know that a safe domestically grown food supply is essential to the future success of this country.

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