January 26, 2020

Climate Issues; Financial Reform; Trade; and the Ag Economy

Climate Issues

DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported yesterday that, “Lawmakers divided largely along party lines Wednesday at a House hearing on agriculture and climate change while USDA’s chief economist tried to emphasize that, while climate legislation would increase costs to producers, those expenses would be gradual over several decades.”

The article noted that, “In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack gave a preview of USDA’s updated analysis on the House climate bill. The study is comparable to data released by USDA in July, showing that there would be modest increases in expenses over time, but potential income from carbon offsets and bioenergy would outstrip the increased costs. Vilsack said farmers could gain as much as $20 billion in farm income from such sources.

“‘Our analysis finds that even with a conservative assumption, it’s a net gain for agriculture,’ Vilsack said.”

(Note: Sec. Vilsack’ comments from yesterday can be heard here (WMA), while an abbreviated excerpt regarding some specifics of USDA’s analysis from yesterday’s briefing is available here (MP3-4:25)).