Biden Spends Billions On Tech He Isn’t Sure Will Work 

The Biden administration is pouring money into green agricultural technology that they’re not even sure is going to work.

Somehow, the Agriculture Department gained the confidence of the farming industry as a whole, getting them to buy into a new program that’s designed to fight against climate change.

The initiative will pay farmers to try green practices out, instead of the old approach, which was to force these same farmers to pay for any excessive carbon emissions that their operations caused.

In total, the initiative is estimated to cost $3 billion, but there’s still no guarantee that what they’re doing is actually going to make any significant positive impact on the environment. In fact, many climate activists have already expressed this concern, saying the program might just amount to a huge payout to “Big Ag.”

The official at the Agriculture Department who devised the plan, Robert Bonnie, even went as far recently as admitting that the initiative was just a huge science experiment. He continued to insist, though, that a program such as this is necessary if the federal government wants to actually incentivize the farming industry to work to reduce its carbon footprint, which is simply massive.

The farming industry, after all, is responsible for about 10% of the total emissions in the U.S. As Bonnie explained:

“Our job here is to basically do this in a way that will attract support. And then prove it can work and prove it’s durable.”

Bonnie was the undersecretary for natural resources and the environment at the Agriculture Department during the Obama administration. Then, he witnessed first-hand a failed effort to try to install a system of cap-and-trade that liberals hoped would’ve curbed carbon emissions. 

Agriculture lobbyists fought hard against that program, which capped carbon emissions in the farming industry but allowed individual producers to purchase some credits if they wanted to exceed those caps. Due in large part to that resistance, the proposal never passed through Congress.

Bonnie says that one of the main lessons from that experience was that buy-in from the farming industry was key to implementing any real change. As he said:

“I think a lot of folks in agriculture and forestry felt like cap-and-trade wasn’t designed with them in mind. It felt top-down.”

In the years of the Trump administration, when Bonnie left government to work at Duke University, he said he realized that farmers are traditionally very much opposed to any government mandate. However, they’re open to playing a part in coming up with a solution for climate change, which they say is affecting their operations significantly.

Research that Bonnie did with some of his other Duke colleagues eventually led to his proposal to the USDA’s internal bank, known as the Commodity Credit Corporation, to pay agribusinesses and farmers to test out green production methods.

Thus far, he said the industry has responded in a positive way. The USDA got more than 1,000 proposals for the money, but they could only award money to 141 projects right now.

From an interest standpoint, the program has already been successful, then. But, the real measuring stick of whether it’s effective is if any of this green agriculture tech even makes a difference.