Agriculture & Global Climate Change February 10, 1999
Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee
Chairman Dick Lugar, U.S. Senator for Indiana
Statement by Senator Dick Lugar on Pew Global Climate Change Study
"There is still much uncertainty about global climate change and what impact it might have on agriculture. I welcome the Pew Center on Global Climate Change study, "Agriculture and Global Climate Change: A Review of Impacts to U.S. Agricultural Resources." This report will assist policy makers in the agricultural sector in the ongoing debate over the science and economics of climate change.
"Efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas concentrations can provide unique opportunities to agriculture. The sequestration of carbon, existing now with the increase in conservation tillage practices, the restoration of our wetlands and the Conservation Reserve Program provides our farmers and ranchers with practical mechanisms which can reduce greenhouse gas concentrations. The Pew Report mentions the need for additional research and evaluation of measurement techniques to allow these opportunities for enhanced carbon storage to be implemented.
"Another opportunity for the economy of agriculture would be the development of transportation fuels from cellulosic biomass. Ambassador James Woolsey and I have recently published an article on "The New Petroleum" in the January-February issue of Foreign Affairs. Our article points out that biofuels may have no impact or even a negative impact on emission of greenhouse gases. Because more carbon is stored in the soil when biofuels are produced than is emitted when they are burned.
"Biofuels not only provide economic opportunities for agriculture, they improve the long term productivity of our soils. And they address the world's growing dependence upon oil exports from unstable nations, which is a threat to our national security as well as to our environment. Sound energy and environmental policies go hand in hand."
Back to the Agriculture & Global Climate Change Report.