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New bill helps agriculture participate in the carbon market

Legislation discussed in a recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing creates important elements needed to support a private carbon credit offset market. The bill would reward the valuable current and future contributions by agriculture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act, introduced by Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a program to provide transparency, legitimacy and informal endorsement of third-party verifiers and technical service providers that help private landowners generate carbon credits through a variety of agriculture and forestry related practices.

“The Growing Climate Solutions Act seeks to provide more clarity and guidance for farmers and ranchers who want to provide the ecosystem services that more and more consumers and businesses are demanding,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, in testimony to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry. “This builds upon American agriculture’s strong foundation of environmental stewardship and innovation.”

Agriculture has a strong story to share in this endeavor. For example, according to recent Environmental Protection Agency findings, the production of U.S. pork is responsible for only 0.3% of all agriculture greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Likewise, according to a 2019 study by the National Pork Board, U.S. pork producers have used 75.9% less land, 25.1% less water and 7% less energy since 1960. This also has resulted in a 7.7% smaller carbon footprint.

“U.S. pork producers, who have been at the forefront of environmental sustainability, are committed to the long-term protection of our country’s natural resources,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “Thanks to continuous on-farm improvements in nutrition, genetics and overall pig care, U.S. pork producers are doing more with less. This bipartisan effort will help give the private sector the standards and certifications needed to recognize and reward the important work being done by U.S. hog farmers to reduce our carbon footprint. We thank the senators for their leadership and look forward to passage of this important legislation.”

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2 comments

  1. I am curious to know how the guidelines will be set. I wonder if true science or preconceived of no-till being the end-all to carbon sequestering. If you leave the material (corn stalks) it is not carbon sequestering.

  2. My reaction to this article is mixed.

    Manmade global warming is not based on science. Computer models (which are the source of the predictions of doom and destruction) are not science. Science also does not dictate behavior or government policies. So to claim that the science of manmade global warming dictates that we do certain things is provably untrue.

    However, it is good for farmers to have a seat at the table and to take advantage of the “carbon market” to benefit from current practices which continue to improve productivity (doing more with less).

    Back on the other side, the carbon market is a way to sell “environmental indulgences” to the masses so they can enjoy modern luxuries without feeling guilty. Like Al Gore, I am permitted to have a large home with extensive energy-consuming electronics along with a heated swimming pool all in exchange for buying a few carbon credits to supposedly offset my “carbon footprint.” But if he and those with him truly believed in the cause wouldn’t they change their own lifestyles before demanding that we change ours? Just ask Bill Gates, a proponent of manmade global warming who just spent over $30 million on beachfront property. I guess those pesky sea levels aren’t rising after all.

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