National Farmers Union is calling on members of the House Agriculture Committee to remember the unique role America's farmers and ranchers can play as climate change legislation is considered in the coming weeks. In a letter sent to Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., President Roger Johnson expressed the organization's priorities and concerns relative to the cap and trade section of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
Johnson said failure to pass climate change legislation could lead to regulation of greenhouse gas farm emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency. He warned that a purely regulatory approach to addressing greenhouse gas emissions will bring all of the downside of increased energy inputs and none of the upside of carbon offset opportunities. Balancing goals with impacts is a difficult task, yet, he says, it is imperative for Congress to act.
NFU policy supports a national, mandatory carbon emission cap and trade system, provided the USDA is granted control of the agriculture offset program; early actors are recognized; no artificial cap is placed on domestic offsets; carbon sequestration rates are based on science; and producers are permitted to stack environmental benefit credits.