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Excerpts from recent editorials in Minnesota newspapers:

From The Associated Press

On 'cap-and-trade' bill worries for ag industry:

The talk this year at FarmFest in Minnesota is that cap-and-trade legislation is not cause for panic if farmers can gain a seat at the table, and thus find a way to cash in on the proposal. For farmers, we suppose this implicit bribe is better than simply being stuck with a huge bill to the detriment of their businesses. But none of this changes the onerous nature of cap-and-trade as a whole.

"Cap-and-trade" is a process by which carbon emissions are regulated by government (talk about a job-creator for bureaucrats) and those facing the caps are allowed to buy carbon credits to emit more carbon dioxide. Others who emit less can sell their credits, while others still could set up "carbon sinks," or vast swaths of plant life, to absorb carbon dioxide.

Another way to look at cap-and-trade is a tax on production. Since our economy relies on fossil fuels to a heavy extent, it will be a broad tax across many industries. The dubious environmental goal is to limit "global warming" and force people to consider alternative uses of energy.

Still another way to look at cap-and-trade is as a radical conspiracy aimed at the heart of capitalism, which has a basis in free choice and an abiding interest in efficiency. Oil, natural gas and coal are abundant resources that outshine other forms of energy in terms of price. Using them while we develop cleaner, longer-term solutions makes sense. It does not makes sense to reverse this process and hope we can power the world with weak, incomplete or insufficient technologies.

Worse, government can attempt to force us to do so, but these attempts too will fall short in terms of our energy needs.

-- The Sentinel of Fairmont