Agriculture, energy, and global warming are inextricably linked, which is why America’s farmers must be a part of the solution to global warming. Today the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture conducts a hearing on the American Clean Energy and Security Act, H.R. 2454. A close review of the legislation reveals that it provides a significant opportunity for U.S. farmers to increase their income while safeguarding their livelihoods and the nation’s food and energy supplies.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called reductions of carbon dioxide a "new income source [that could] change the old ways of supporting farms." He has urged farmers to seize the economic opportunities from reducing greenhouse gas pollution and "not to be fearful of this future." H.R. 2454 recognizes and rewards the benefits farmers can provide to the United States and the world in ending our dependence on fossil fuels and confronting climate change.
H.R. 2454 offers an opportunity for farmers to diversify their sources of income and cut costs by increasing energy efficiency. With modest improvements, ACESA can designate a more explicit role for agriculture in the carbon offset market without jeopardizing the gains for farmers already included in the overall legislation. ACESA rewards good practices and provides the tools to ensure that American farmers can benefit from solutions to global warming.
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