Louisiana Ag Head plugs in carbon capture as a solution to climate change | Louisiana News

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Rising global temperatures could hurt agricultural production, but farmers also need domestic oil and gas production to increase, Louisiana’s commissioner of agriculture said.

“Climate change is real,” commissioner Mike Strain told the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

Strain said the answer is carbon capture – removing carbon emissions from the air and storing them underground, The Advocate reported.

Hundreds of environmental groups have called it a “false solution”. Carbon capture must be part of the solution, but is not improving as quickly as solar and wind power and electricity storage, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently reported. United Nations.

Over the past century, Strain said Monday, small increases in temperature have boosted agricultural production. “But now we are on the other side where temperature increases will reduce the production of plants and animals, so we have to be aware of that,” he said.

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Natural gas is a key feedstock for fertilizer, and Strain said prices need to stay low to keep food costs down. He said fertilizer costs could cut plantings of corn, the most widely used animal feed, down 14% in Louisiana, to 500,000 acres this year.

Oil prices, around $69 a barrel in December, hit $130 a barrel in March after economic sanctions were imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Brent crude for June delivery fell $4.33 to $102.32 a barrel on Monday.

Natural gas prices have also increased.

Strain, like industry advocates in Louisiana, said carbon capture can address greenhouse gas emissions from increased production.

Agriculture is “the #1 natural way to remove carbon,” Strain said. He said forests already remove up to 20% of the carbon produced and that Louisiana can “remove 200 to 400 times more than we produce.”

Agriculture and industry together can sequester more carbon than it produces and “start to reverse the curve,” Strain said.

“We cannot allow the climate to rise another two degrees in the next 100 years,” he said.

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Teresa H. Sadler