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Duelling US agriculture secretaries

- Friday, August 28, 2009

The contrasting views of the agriculture sector in the USA about the potential implications of the proposed USA emissions trading scheme have been in evidence during the past week, with both the current US Agriculture Secretary, and the former US Agriculture Secretary trading views on the subject.

The Omaha Herald ran an article early in the week penned by current US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, arguing that while the emissions trading scheme might increase farm energy costs, this would be more than compensated by the opportunities for farmers to sell agricultural offsets. Several days later, former US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns (now a Republican Senator) penned a rebuttal, claiming the analysis ignores the potential large-scale conversion of agricultural land to forests, and is a less than robust analysis.

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