Maxwell Bernstein | December 11, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden selected former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as secretary of agriculture, according to NPR. Biden’s pick for Vilsack as secretary of agriculture will lead to a greater focus on climate change than the current secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue. As secretary of agriculture, Perdue’s USDA chose not to release a climate change response plan, according to Politico.
People are calling for Vilsack to make the USDA a sponsor of action on climate change and utilize a multibillion-dollar monetary asset called the Commodity Credit Corp. to pay farmers for practices that limit greenhouse gasses. The USDA’s budget already includes billions of dollars for programs such as one that can provide solar and wind power for rural areas or a program that incentivizes agricultural practices that capture carbon dioxide from the air.