Bill aims to help farmers sell carbon credits

Bill aims to help farmers sell carbon credits
© Getty Images

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 GrahamHillicon Valley: Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse | Trump administration awards tech group contract to build 'virtual' wall | Advocacy groups urge Congress to ban facial recognition technologies Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse The Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights 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 StabenowACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Senators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls Democrats warn Biden against releasing SCOTUS list MORE (D-Mich.), Mike BraunMichael BraunGridlock mires chances of police reform deal Pelosi says GOP 'trying to get away with murder' on police reform bill GOP senator introducing bill to scale back qualified immunity for police MORE (R-Ind.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrat asks Barr to preserve any records tied to environmental hacking probe Democrats warn Biden against releasing SCOTUS list Key Democrat accuses Labor head of 'misleading' testimony on jobless benefits 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.