25 September 2008

Environmental Services

Grist has a long post on this:
The federal Farm Bill that was passed and signed into law in June contains a little noted provision directing the USDA to establish a framework that would facilitate participation of farmers and landowners in emerging environmental services markets.
While I support the idea in principle (and certainly a better way to spend tax $$ than on crop subsidies), I worry about implementation, fraud and the generalized problem of subsidies (i.e., coercing people to do stuff...) This new program could be the start of a nightmare or something good.

Bottom Line: Every dollar going into environmental services should come out of crop support payments.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure if you are aware, but EPA (their office of research and development) is moving toward making ecosystem services a big part of their Ecological Research Program (ERP). Its an interesting move and I'm not sure how well it will turn out, but thet're trying. I think there will be opportunities for economists to play an mportant role un the discussions.

    On another note, where do endangered species fit in? That is, things we feel are important, but that lack a market value. Maybe that discussion belongs elsewhere...

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