Oh the unintended consequences…Just as when the price of corn and other agricultural products soared when the U.S. government pushed Ethanol on us, if Barack Obama gets his way you’ll be paying even more for your food.
The cap-and-trade bill offers initiatives for farmers and ranchers to do something that sounds oh so wonderful: turn farms into forests to save the world from the sure destruction of global warming. You see. forests trap CO2 and heat better than farms do. The Washington Times reports:
The latest Agriculture Department economic-impact study of the climate bill, which passed the House this summer, found that the legislation would profit farmers in the long term. But those profits would come mostly from higher crop prices as a result of the legislation’s incentives to plant more forests and thus reduce the amount of land devoted to food-producing agriculture.
According to the economic model used by the department and the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislation would give landowners incentives to convert up to 59 million acres of farmland into forests over the next 40 years. The reason: Trees clean the air of heat-trapping gases better than farming does.
Just why would a farmer want to plant trees instead of food?
The legislation would give free emissions credits, known as offsets, to farmers and landowners who plant forests and adopt low-carbon farm and ranching practices. Farmers and ranchers could sell the credits to help major emitters of greenhouse gases comply with the legislation. That revenue would help the farmers deal with an expected rise in fuel and fertilizer costs.
As Allison Specht, an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, summed it up: “That’s one of the realities of cap-and-trade legislation. The biggest bang for your buck for carbon credits is planting trees,”
We hope those are trees are tasty.
Full story: Washington Times
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