Counterproductive to include agricultural operations

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Editor:

I would like to comment on Al Cross’ article about USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s push to add carbon credits for agriculture to the proposed “cap and trade” system.

If the Climate Bill is truly designed to improve the environment, then it would be counterproductive to include agricultural operations, particularly any livestock operations to the credit side of the equation, and bringing agriculture into the discussions could well lead to much tighter regulations rather than any direct benefits to agriculture or our economy.

While relatively unimportant for CO2 emissions, the agriculture sector is a major source of other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, notably nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4).

According to the U.S. EPA, globally, livestock are the largest source of methane from human-related activities — and in the U.S., the third largest source.

Livestock production can also result in emissions of nitrous oxide, a very potent greenhouse gas, and carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas.

Over half of the world’s anthropogenic methane emissions are produced by agricultural activities. The primary sources of agricultural ethane include domesticated ruminant livestock, rice cultivation and the handling and processing of livestock manure.

In addition, about half of the emissions from biomass burning are attributed to agriculture.

Natural Sources of Methane Emissions

Source

Wetlands

Termites

Oceans and fresh water

Gas hydrates

Estimated Amount

(million metric tons/year)

115

20

15

5

TOTAL 155

Emissions

Source

Domesticated livestock

Rice farming

Natural gas, petroleum processing and use

Coal mining

Biomass burning

Landfills

Livestock manure

Wastewater treatment

Estimated Amount

(million metric tons/year)

80

60

50

40

40

30

25

25

TOTAL 350

Ron Stidmon

Enon Valley Garlic

Enon Valley, Pa.

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1 COMMENT

  1. You forgot to say the whole climate thing is a con–the globe has been cooling for a few years– that natural sources produce nearly all the so-called global warming gases– water vapor being the chief. Climate change initiatives are for the specific purpose of energy and economic controls globally to enrich a few and other things I cannot mention here.

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