USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack is urging the agricultural community to embrace the proposal to cap carbon emissions although he understands the skepticism felt in rural areas. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, made the comments in an appearance in Genesco, Ill.

Vilsack said “We ought not to be fearful of this future. We ought to embrace it,” according to the Quad City Times. Vilsack is referring to a system that would cap carbon emissions and require operations that couldn’t come in under the cap could purchase credits in an open market.

Agriculture groups fear that the plan will drive up their costs. “I understand the skepticism out in the countryside about this,” Vilsack said.

“The concern over costs is real,” said Jim Kaitschuck, executive director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association, who was present for the comments. “Our industry can’t take on any more cost right now,” he said. Vilsack also heard concerns from pork producers about the viability of their industry and the scarcity of credit.

Read more about the USDA’s effort to advance carbon emissions cap.

Source: Quad City Times