Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in an interview with NPR:
Vilsack: You can foresee a future where farmers are paid for reducing our carbon footprint, much in the same way we're currently paying them for conservation. We're concerned about water quality, we're concerned about preserving the soil, and so we're willing to pay people to do things on their land that would be helpful not just to them but to us.Listen to the entire interview here.
Q: Are you saying you would want maybe someday to pay farmers for doing fertilizer-free farming, or for putting up a windmill that generates electricity in a renewable way, that sort of thing?
Vilsack: Well, there are a whole host of things, but I think it will be tied to the whole notion of offsets .... [there might be a] central distribution system that basically sells these offsets and contracts with the farmers... eventually the farmer gets benefited for doing what is right for the country as a whole and for the globe as a whole, which is to reduce the carbon footprint.