In the past two years, members of the U.S. Congress have increasingly become interested in policies aimed at curbing emissions and tackling the causes and effects of climate change. The issue a priority for many in the large class of first-term House Democrats elected in 2018, who have put new energy into long-standing efforts by the party on climate change. Meanwhile, Republicans are starting to put forth their own ideas on how to curb the effects of climate change, looking at things like carbon capture technologies, tax credits, and efforts to plant more trees.
Below is information on some of these efforts and legislation that is supported by NFU.
Recent Congressional Actions on Climate Change
The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis: The committee is tasked with issuing a report making economy-wide recommendations for how to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. Read NFU’s comments to the committee here.
Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on “Climate Change and the Agricultural Sector”: On May 21, 2019, the Senate Agriculture Committee heard from farmers, ranchers, and other experts on issues related to climate change and agriculture. Read NFU’s testimony here.
House Agriculture Committee hearing “Managing for Soil Health: Securing the Conservation and Economic Benefits of Healthy Soils”: On June 25, 2019, the House Agriculture Committee Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee heard from farmers and researchers on the environmental and economic benefits of healthy soils.
Legislation endorsed by NFU
NFU reviews and has weighed in on many climate related bills. Among the bills that NFU has recently endorsed are:
- The Agricultural Resilience Act, Rep. Chellie Pingree
- The Farmer Driven Conservation Outcomes Act, Sens. Bob Casey and Shelly Moore Capito
Other climate and agriculture policy efforts
USDA Agriculture Innovation Agenda: USDA launched a department-wide effort in February 2020 aimed at increasing U.S. agricultural production while cutting its environmental footprint in half by 2050. Read NFU’s statement on the initiative here.
Joe Biden’s Plan for Rural America: The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has included in his plan for rural America a push for net-zero emissions for agriculture, arguing that the effort will also create new sources of income for farmers.