The impact of the amended legislation on climate change on farms and ranches in the United States will be “bearable” – partly owing to the opportunity to earn money for controlling greenhouse-gases. Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said in a speech at a meeting of the American Soybean Association that it has been estimated the climate bill would push up the costs of crop production by 1.8%-4.6% in the short term.
In the amended climate bill, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been put in charge of activities of the farm-sector to lock carbon into the soil. The farmers, according to Peterson, are likely to have returns of around 4.6% since eco-friendly practices like no-till farming are eligible for carbon sequestration contracts. Additionally, with the passing of the new climate bill, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has no role in overseeing the farm sector.
A group of lawmakers from the farm-dominant US states had, Peterson said, persuaded the Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives to amend the climate bill so that the Department of Agriculture, and not the Environmental Protection Agency, will oversee the carbon-control activities and practices dating from 2001 which are eligible for carbon contracts.
Amendments to the climate bill will, according to Collin Peterson, protect utilities in the US Midwest from greenhouse-gas limits. They will also exclude, for at least 5 years, the Environmental Protection Agency’s stipulation that would hold biofuels responsible for forest-clearing or greenhouse-gas emissions from expansion of cropland overseas.
Image courtesy of stopclimatechaos