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NFU Testifies on Agriculture’s Role in Climate Change Legislation

NFU Testifies on Agriculture’s Role in Climate Change Legislation

Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 8:01 pm

WASHINGTON (June 11, 2009) – National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson today pressed the House Agriculture Committee to support provisions that allow farmers and ranchers to participate in climate change legislation.

In testimony before the committee Johnson said NFU believes the flexibility of a cap and trade program holds the most potential for actual greenhouse gas emissions reductions while helping to mitigate the increased energy costs that would result from such a program.

“A cap and trade system could provide farmers and ranchers the opportunity to be a part of the climate change solution,” Johnson said. “Carbon sequestration and methane capture from certain livestock projects could be valuable revenue streams for producers who will experience increased agricultural input costs.”

Johnson said the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, while exempting agriculture from an emissions cap and including 2 billion tons of allowable offsets, has serious deficiencies that prevent farmer and rancher participation. The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the legislation May 21.

“We are very hopeful that the House Agriculture Committee will be able to make the necessary changes to the bill so that it will work for agriculture,” Johnson said.

NFU policy supports a national, mandatory carbon emission cap and trade system to reduce non-farm greenhouse gas emissions if the following conditions are met: the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is granted control and administration of the agriculture offset program; early actors are recognized; no artificial cap is placed on domestic offsets; carbon sequestration rates are based upon science; and producers are permitted to stack environmental benefit credits.

NFU has emerged as a leading voice for how agriculture can play a significant role in combating global climate change. Johnson’s testimony laid out the enrollment process for the Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program, which has taught the organization valuable lessons on how to properly construct an offsets program.
Posted 6.14.09

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