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Published on July 23rd, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

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No Duh. Farmers Will Benefit From Climate Bill: Says Vilsac

July 23rd, 2009 by  


You’ve seen the headlines:

Cows Operate Power Company as Side Business

Onion Farmer takes $2.5 Million to Bank For Electricity Production

More Carbon Sequestration Needed: Farmers Paid to Not Plant

Every day there’s more news of the alternative energy that farms can make. From cow poop. From crop residues. From onion skins. From chicken feathers. From wind royalties. From solar power.

But you read cleantechnica.

Of course farmers will benefit from the climate bill. HR2434 is designed to make it cheaper to switch to low carbon energy than to keep using fossil fuels that destroy our future.

Farmers; however, are stuck with Fox News and Rush and the Heritage Foundation and CATO. They are told

Your energy cost will soar under socialist Al Gore climate bill!

So they worry. What Fox News and Rush won’t let them know is that…

Energy won’t be more expensive.

Oil and coal will be more expensive, yes. But oil and coal are not the only way to make energy. There are other ways to make energy. Low carbon ways.

Farms have the raw materials for creating low carbon energy. Wide open space for wind turbines. Huge sun-filled fields of solar power. Cow sheds full of methane gas. Shucked corn stalks ready for biodiesel.

Farms are the new oilfields.

And now, with the climate bill, we have the financial incentives we need to start tapping into that new power. Finally we have an administration able to do something about climate change. All we need to do is just change how we get energy. We can do that.

Farms are also key to mitigating climate change. Carbon offsets will become increasingly valuable. The EPA’s analysis projects annual net returns beginning at over $1 billion a year and increasing every year.

By 2050 carbon offsets will net farms $20 billion annually.

USDA analysis in a new report strongly suggests that revenue from agricultural offsets (afforestation, soil carbon, methane reduction, nitrous oxide reductions) rise faster than costs to agriculture from cap and trade legislation. It appears that in the medium to long term, net revenue from offsets will likely overtake net costs from HR 2454, perhaps substantially.

A number of administration heavyweights—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and science advisor John Holdren—told the Senate agricultural committee to relax. Farmers will make out a lot better with climate legislation than without it, enjoying “significant net benefits.”

Secretary Vilsack brandished a new report from the Agriculture Department. The upshot? Thanks to all the last-minute goodies included in the House climate bill, farmers stand to rake in a fortune from so-called carbon offsets.”

(WSJ writers have to call carbon offsets “so-called” carbon offsets.)

Bottom line?

That extra income will more than compensate higher energy prices, he said.

I think the writer means higher oil prices; but in the Wall Street Journal they are not allowed to suggest that energy and oil are not synonyms. Their readers might have heart attacks.

Via The WSJ  Environmental Capital

Photo by Katarina Stefanović 
 
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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



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