Senate Ag approves Growing Climate Solutions Act as it’s introduced in House
The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act by voice vote while House Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee Chair Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb. introduced a companion bill in the House.
Spanberger and Bacon said in a news release that the Growing Climate Solutions Act would address uncertainty about carbon credits “by creating a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets.”
“Through the program, USDA would help connect landowners to private sector actors who can assist the landowners in implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their sustainable practices.”
“On Earth Day, our committee came together in a bipartisan way to pass the Growing Climate Solutions Act,” Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbe Stabenow, D-Mich., said after the unanimous voice vote.
“This brings us one step closer to providing more opportunities for farmers and foresters to lead in addressing the climate crisis and also benefit from new streams of income.”
Stabenow and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., were original cosponsors of the bill, along with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., with Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member John Boozman, R-Ark., joining recently.
But the number of cosponsors has grown to more than 40, with the possibility that others would join.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told Stabenow that he supported the bill and would vote for it.
But Grassley added that he is worried about the middleman between the farmer and the buyer of the carbon credits, and said he is “always suspicious of middlemen” and that he doesn’’t want any “vertical integration” in the carbon credit process.
Grassley also said that, while the program is forward-looking, what farmers have accomplished through minimum tillage and no tillage should be taken into consideration.
Stabenow said that the bill would allow USDA to address these issues.
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