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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.

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“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 GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Election night could be a bit messy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states Late donor surges push election spending projections to new heights 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 StabenowDemocratic senator votes against advancing Amy Coney Barrett nomination while wearing RBG mask Healthcare, retirement security seen as top issues for older voters, lawmakers say Dems to focus on issues, not character, at Barrett hearings MORE (D-Mich.), Mike BraunMichael BraunGOP faces fundraising reckoning as Democrats rake in cash Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Trump is out of touch with Republican voters on climate change MORE (R-Ind.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation GOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session 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.