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Fueling a New Farm Economy: Creating Incentives for Biofuels in Agriculture and Trade Policy

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Abstract:

Complex problems require detailed solutions underpinned by a clear vision of the future. When each of those problems individually seems almost intractable, the need for an overarching view of the desired outcome becomes all the more important. Without a doubt that is the case today when policymakers confront global warming, global poverty, energy security, and global free trade.

All four issues boast numerous problems and challenges. Yet consider a vision of the world where renewable energy extracted sustainably from crops and agricultural wastes across the planet fuels a new farm economy that simultaneously produces food and fuel amid economically robust and environmentally sound rural landscapes. This new way of thinking about agriculture and rural communities worldwide offers a way past our world’s unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels and our inability to build a global trading community that enriches farmers worldwide. Once embraced, this new vision offers humanity a viable approach to help reverse the dire effects of climate change.

This paper will detail exactly how Congress can work toward this new vision. Specific policy recommendations are presented in each section of the report so that members of Congress can grasp what needs to be enacted in separate legislative vehicles. In short, this paper is a policymaking roadmap toward that larger vision of growing the world’s energy and moving forward constructively on global trade.