CFACT: Hidden in the thicket of the Obama administration’s elaborate scheme to transform the U.S. energy sector away from fossil fuels is a section that puts American farmers squarely in Washington’s bull’s eye.
The Clean Power Plan, the final version of which was unveiled on August 3, 2015, is generally understood to target emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants in the name of combatting climate change, formerly known as global warming. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels within 25 years.
But the plan is about much more than destroying the coal industry before closing in on natural-gas producers as a means of clearing the path for otherwise uncompetitive wind and solar power. The White House wants to use its alleged concern for the climate as an excuse to subject farmers to “sustainability” standards cooked up by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In an eye-opening article in the Wall Street Journal (July 11), Bruce E. Dale, professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University, points out that EPA “is counting biogenetic-carbon emissions as if they were the same as fossil-carbon emissions. They are not.” Dale explains that agricultural products such as grains and oilseeds contain biogenetic carbon, which comes from the atmosphere and returns to the atmosphere when these products are consumed, “such as when human beings eat bread and then breathe out the carbon dioxide resulting from the breakdown of bread in the body.” Biogenetic carbon, he says, “cannot contribute to climate change.” more