Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced a new version of the Growing Climate Solutions Act today, a bill that aims to create a certification program and provide technical assistance and reliable information to agricultural producers and forestry owners of all sizes seeking to voluntarily participate in carbon markets.
It also creates a USDA advisory council for the program.
Among the bill’s co-sponsors is Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) who worked to secure provisions aimed at ensuring the farmer is the ultimate beneficiary of the program.
These include changes from the bill introduced last Congress such as standalone funding and ensuring the USDA advisory council is made up of a majority of agricultural producers and private forest landowners but also includes scientists and other stakeholders.
Arkansas rice farmer Mark Isbell testified last month before the Senate Agriculture Committee during a hearing on climate change, emphasizing several of the improvements in the current bill, especially the guiding principle that producers need to be very involved in any potential climate solutions.
“USA Rice appreciates the diligence and efforts these Senators have taken to develop a bill that includes positive, voluntary opportunities for rice farmers,” said Nicole Montna Van Vleck, USA Rice Farmers Chair. “We support the bi-partisan bill and look forward to working towards its passage this Congress.”