Standing Up for Cap and Trade & Swine Flu Summit

Standing Up for Cap and Trade & Swine Flu Summit

Standing Up for Cap and Trade & Swine Flu Summit plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

One thing is for sure, whether you are agree with it or not, cap & trade has sure got everyone’s attention. Last week Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking at the Iowa State Fair told folks that cap and trade legislation, if written and carried out properly, could add to farmers' net income. 

VILSACK: If it’s structured right. If it takes into consideration challenges that livestock producers have. If we’re given enough time to transition, we believe at USDA that this is going to be a net, bottom line increase for farm income generally in the country.

Last Friday, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski took part in an all-day Oregon Summit on Influenza Preparedness, organized to help the state of Oregon prepare for the possibility of a large influenza outbreak in the fall. The H1N1 pandemic strain of influenza continues to spread across the globe. Over 800 people filled the meeting in Salem. The Centers for Disease Control recently projected that the outbreak could cause absentee rates as high as 40 percent. Even a smaller outbreak would have repercussions for schools, health care systems, large employers and local governments.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

The last several years has seen the controversy over the breaching of northwest dams grow to nearly biblical proportions. The one thing both sides agree on is wanting to save the salmon. What they can’t seem to agree on is the best way to go about doing that. A few environmental groups feel that there’s a way to save the wild salmon without breaching the dams. These dams are not causing the salmon to go extinct; in fact the northwest is seeing a large salmon run this year. Studies have shown that there’s a 25 year cycle in the Pacific Ocean currents that bring nourishment and food fish to the North American coast. When these currents shift the fish runs either increase or decrease accordingly. The four dams in question provide hydroelectric power, recreation, irrigation and jobs. A breaching of the dams would hit farmers in the area the hardest of all forcing an estimated 35,000 acres of farm land to go out of production due to the astronomical cost of pump modification. If anyone thinks that wouldn’t make a significant impact on the northwest food supply they’re living in a bubble. And as everyone knows bubbles easily burst.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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