WASHINGTON — Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., is throwing her support behind a bipartisan proposal aimed at helping farmers and ranchers access carbon credit markets.
Earlier this year, Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2020, a measure that has attracted support from both sides of the aisle.
“Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers have long been good stewards of the land and innovators of ways to conserve our precious natural resources,” Fischer said in a press release. “By reducing barriers to carbon credit markets, Senator Braun’s bipartisan legislation will enable more ag producers to be part of the climate solution and it will help them expand on existing practices.”
Carbon credit markets are based on the concept of farmers and forest landowners adopting practices such as planting cover crops that keep carbon in the ground rather than contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. They get a credit for such practices, a credit that can then be sold on a market.
But accessing those markets can be complicated by the need for technical assistance, independent verifiers and reliable market information. Braun’s bill would create a program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help agricultural producers overcome such barriers.
Fischer’s release included supportive statements from some environmental groups: the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation and Nebraska Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Some environmentalists have been less than enthusiastic, however, questioning the effectiveness of those farm practices at addressing such a massive global issue.
Many Republican lawmakers have traditionally been skeptical of government efforts to tackle climate change, or even the role of human activity in causing it.
But carbon credit markets have garnered interest from both parties.
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