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 SandersWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (I-Vt.) as too unrealistic, environmentalists have argued that plans introduced by more centrist candidates like former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' Warren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll MORE don't go far enough. 

However, there are a number of candidates, including former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin Delaney2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Analysis: 2020 digital spending vastly outpaces TV ads 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 CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate committee approves 0 million for state election security efforts Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity Bill to return B in unredeemed bonds advances MORE (D-Del.), Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyMomentum is growing to fight climate change by pricing carbon Bill Weld on climate change: Let the market decide Overnight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe 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