Letter to WCP Editor
Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2009 12:18 pm
By: Joe Stout
To the editor,
Deja Vu on Not Raisin Hogs.
Many of your readers may remember my letter to the editor 9 years ago on the government program of paying for Not Raisin Hogs, Corn and Soybeans.
I was reading about Rex Woollen who grows corn and soybeans. For 20 years I got paid for not raisin corn and soybeans and tried to get in on the Not Raisin Hogs business back there in 2000.
In 2007, Mr. Woollen, a Nebraska farmer started cultivating a new commodity: Carbon.
By not tilling 800 acres, Woollen by some estimates keeps 470 tons of carbon per year in the ground and out of the atmosphere and because of that, Woollen gets carbon credits that he can then sell to the Chicago Climate Exchange.
By not growing crops, he saves carbon and he gets paid for it. Woollen gets $3,000 a year, while it’s not much to Woollen, it hints at a bigger potential profit as congress considers mandatory nationwide greenhouse gas limits.
For those of you that don’t know, a Carbon Credit is a tradable permit that provides a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving them a monetary value.
A credit gives the owner the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide.
I have a feeling that it will increase many times over once the government gets involved so I am seriously considering getting into this carbon allowance business.
Barack Obama wants a cap and trade bill and you know that farm states would be key votes to getting it passed, so you can expect a lot more of this type of gummint benefits in the near future.
I have checked into this Chicago Climate Exchange and guess who was on the board of the charity that gave over a million dollars in crucial funds to the Chicago Climate Exchange during its infancy?
You probably guessed right, it was Barack Obama.
The Chicago climate and futures exchanges together handled credits for 28.8 million metric tons in February, compared with a record 447 million metric tons at London’s European Climate Exchange Ltd. so hopefully we can come up to the European standards real soon.
Obama has said that he wants to cut emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels so the future looks good for this business.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has called carbon “a new income source” that could “change the old ways of supporting farms.”
According to the North Dakota Farmers Union North Dakota farmers will get $9 million carbon credits this year, so I’m sure we here in Tennessee can get much more than that since we have a much larger population than North Dakota.
Some state farm lawmakers want to let farmers create separate sources of carbon allowances. Farmers who plant trees would earn offsets to sell alongside government permits on carbon markets. So not only will I be able to earn cash as a farmer by not farming, I will get more by planting things that aren’t crops.
I have recently sold some timber on my land and would be able to plant trees to replace those so this would also be a way to increase my check from the gummint.
Once again it looks like them wonderful politicians up there in Washington D. C. are going to come through for me.
Joe W. Stout,
Greenfield, Joe Stout, Letter to the Editor