Bill aims to help farmers sell carbon credits

Bill aims to help farmers sell carbon credits
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The agriculture industry would be able to participate in a growing carbon credit market under bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday that would funnel money to farmers who use sustainable practices. 

Farming, while a source of emissions itself, also presents vast opportunities to sequester carbon in soil and plant life.

The legislation tasks the U.S. Department of Agriculture with creating a certification program to assist farmers and forest landowners in “implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their sustainable practices,” according to a press release.


“As Americans we have the ability to come up with climate solutions that can benefit our economy and our way of life,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen GOP senator questions constitutionality of an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office Graham pushes Schumer for vote to dismiss impeachment article MORE (R-S.C.) said in a release.

“The United States has long been a leader in innovation. This legislation is an opportunity to put our knowledge and can-do spirit to work to promote business opportunities for the agriculture industry while promoting the protection of our environment," he said.

The legislation was introduced by Graham, alongside Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowYellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing Coronavirus relief deal hinges on talks over Fed lending powers OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Government scientists predicted border wall construction could harm wildlife refuge | Haaland nomination generates excitement in Native American communities | Trump officials wrongly awarded Alaska grant in bid to open Tongass MORE (D-Mich.), Mike BraunMichael BraunTop Republican congressional aide resigns, rips GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden win Congress affirms Biden win after rioters terrorize Capitol Congress rejects challenge to Arizona's presidential vote MORE (R-Ind.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats seize on GOP donor fallout Senior Democrat says Hawley, Cruz should step down from Judiciary Hawley, Cruz face rising anger, possible censure MORE (D-R.I.).

Many large corporations have made commitments to reach net-zero carbon emissions. Their plans rely not only on reducing their own emissions but often offsetting them by buying credits from parties who are able to reduce more carbon outputs.

The bill has the backing of environmental and farm groups along with numerous corporations like McDonalds and Microsoft — both of which have pledged to reduce their carbon footprint.