Friday, May 1, 2009

Testifying on the Need for Ag Offsets

Fred Yoder testified this week before the Small Business Committee on behalf of the National Corn Growers Association regarding the role of agriculture in climate change. Fred is a member of the Ag Carbon Market Working Group and the past President of the NCGA (check out earlier posts on this blog to read about his experiences at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland).

Fred's testimony focused on the importance of designing an offset policy that allows agriculture to contribute to the solution for climate change and produce revenue for rural America. There was particular emphasis during the hearing on the need for offsets to counterbalance any potential cost increase from cap-and-trade. Fred was joined on the panel by Roger Johnson, new President of the National Farmers Union, alongside reps from other industries (roofing, steel). Fred and Roger both outlined the necessity to create an offset policy that incentivizes farmers to reduce and sequester GHG emissions – and how that would mean crediting early actors, involving USDA, designing effective protocols, and allowing unlimited domestic offsets.

Questions from Committee members covered the role of ag in climate change solutions and the potential for costs to the economy. Fred and Roger both highlighted that the potential for cost increase coupled with the current economic situation underscores the critical need to design an offset policy that lowers the cost to the economy.

The hearing is available online and below.

Fred’s testimony:

Fred’s discussion of potential costs and the importance of engaging from 1 min 50 to 5 min 25:

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