Nebraska Farmers Union president calls for government action on climate change

09/04/19

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 Sanders (I-Vt.) as too unrealistic, environmentalists have argued that plans introduced by more centrist candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden don’t go far enough. 

However, there are a number of candidates, including former Rep. John Delaney (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 Coons (D-Del.), Rep. Francis Rooney (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

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