I want to start off today by thanking the city of Copenhagen and its people for their hospitality and warm welcome. Everyone has been very helpful and extremely friendly.
The talk of the conference on my first day in attendance has been the
U.S. EPA’s endangerment finding on greenhouse gases, specifically
cardon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions. EPA’s ruling did
not come as a surprise to me and the Ohio Corn Growers Association as
this direction has been put in place since the Supreme Court ruling in
April of 2007. The Clean Air Act and its amendments provide a “clear
statutory command,” the majority of the Justices said, and “Greenhouse
gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of air
pollutant,” ruled Justice Stevens.
It seems that EPA’s decision has caught everyone off guard, when in
reality, the decision was just a matter of time. Many attendees are
wondering if legislation in the U.S. will gain momentum now. That
remains to be seen, of course. Regardless, agriculture can play a
substantial role in greenhouse gas reductions as farmers continue to
utilize new technology and new methods of producing corn. The last few
years are proof that farmers will continue to produce more with less
land, fewer inputs and emissions and less water consumption per bushel.
This ruling has been the catalyst for OCGA’s involvement in carbon
sequestration efforts with no-till and researching future agriculture
offset economic opportunities for farmers. If the U.S. follows EPA’s
path, agriculture has much to lose and costs will skyrocket across the
board with no opportunity to be a part of an offset market.
Friday’s agenda includes roundtable discussions with our counterparts
in Brazil as we continue to develop new ways to partner. John Carter
of Allianca de Terra will be joining OCGA Board Member Fred Yoder and I in a
presentation on our mission to Brazil and John’s mission to Ohio this
More to come soon…