WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, applauded the bipartisan efforts that led to the Committee passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021 (S.1251).
The bill, introduced by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), aims to break down barriers for farmers, ranchers and foresters interested in participating in voluntary greenhouse gas credit markets. Boozman worked closely with Braun and Stabenow to strengthen portions of the bill to benefit farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners and to garner increased support prior to its introduction. As a result, the bill garnered the support of over 40 cosponsors in advance of Committee consideration.
“The version of the Growing Climate Solutions Act that we overwhelmingly passed out of Committee demonstrates what can be accomplished if we take a bipartisan approach to legislating. By working together on the front end, we strengthened the bill’s appeal to reach a broader base of members from both sides of the aisle, as well as a wide-range of stakeholders from across the agriculture community,” Boozman said. “I offer my sincere gratitude to Senator Braun and Chairwoman Stabenow for their willingness to partner with me to make important improvements to the bill. This collaboration is a continuation of the long standing tradition that is expected of the Senate agriculture committee to develop practical, bipartisan policy.”
Boozman worked with the bill’s sponsors to include changes that ensure the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2021 will not open the farm bill or threaten funding from its programs; require that a majority of the program’s advisory council be made up of farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners; and prevent the disclosure by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of farmer-specific or confidential business information under the program.
“American agriculture has continually evolved and reduced its environmental footprint. Many farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners are eager to learn about opportunities to tap into emerging voluntary markets that will compensate them for these efforts moving forward. As a result of our collaboration, the Growing Climate Solutions Act will direct USDA to develop resources to assist interested farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners in navigating some of the challenges preventing them from pursuing opportunities in voluntary greenhouse gas credit markets. Additionally, our bipartisan efforts will ensure that farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners have the strongest representation on the council and that their confidential information will be protected from disclosure under the program,” Boozman said.