Is cap-and-trade legislation good for agriculture?
Dick Wittman, grain, cattle and timber producer, serves on the Agricultural Carbon Market Working Group.
> Keep Your Voice at the Table
Denial or opposition to climate change remediation proposals is not an option for the farm community. We need to analyze the basis for global concerns and shape solutions with votes. To avoid costlier Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation in favor of cap-and-trade and its revenue potential, agriculture has several policy positions to advocate and protect.
The Agricultural Carbon Market Working Group has supported cost exposure mitigation, unrestricted access for agriculture to offset markets, agriculture exemption from emissions caps and jurisdiction by USDA—not EPA.
All debate aside, we should examine our own carbon footprint and say, "I'm doing everything I can to conserve energy, reduce emissions and offset climate change.” If we did, there would be no need for a regulation or legislation.
Robert Bonnie is a vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund and a senior adviser to the USDA Secretary.
- JANUARY 2010