Nebraska Farmers Union president calls for government action on climate change

The president of the Nebraska Farmers Union called Wednesday for more government action on climate change, saying the agriculture industry could be utilized to help fight carbon emissions.

“The Farmers Union has been a leader in the climate issue,” John Hansen told Hill.TV. “We want there to be an appropriate response at the state level, at the federal level.”

“We need to look at agriculture as an opportunity to help take a bunch of excess carbon that’s in the air and sequester it through the plant and into the roots, into the soil,” Hansen added.

He emphasized the need for more tools and better research, saying elected officials can’t afford to waste any time in addressing the issue.

“We’re at a point where the longer we wait, the more costly the fix is going to be and the more radical the changes will need to be,” he told Hill.TV.

The question over how to best address climate change and carbon emissions has become a decisive issue among Democratic primary candidates.

While some critics have deemed progressive plans put forth by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote Briahna Joy Gray on how Sanders changed the healthcare conversation Sanders 'delighted' DeSantis asked White House to import Canadian prescription drugs MORE (I-Vt.) as too unrealistic, environmentalists have argued that plans introduced by more centrist candidates like former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE don't go far enough. 

However, there are a number of candidates, including former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyLobbying world Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings MORE (D-Md.), who agree on the need for a carbon tax. This proposal has gained support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Earlier this year, Sen. Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsOn The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections Bipartisan infrastructure group grows to 20 senators Biden prepares to confront Putin MORE (D-Del.), Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyAllies of GOP leader vow to oust Liz Cheney Republican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC A party of ideas, not a cult of personality MORE (R-Fla.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) all introduced bills aimed making such a fee a reality for the fossil fuel industry.

Ten Democratic presidential candidates, meanwhile, are poised to take the stage at CNN's first standalone forum on climate change Wednesday night. MSNBC is set to hold another Democratic primary forum on the issue later this month. 

—Tess Bonn