There is a popular but false perception that most farmers and ranchers are “climate deniers.” In reality, Idaho’s and America’s agricultural communities recognize the threat of climate change—perhaps more than most. After all, our livelihoods depend on our natural resources, which makes us frontline stewards of the environment.
Certainly, crop and livestock producers are weary of heavy-handed government regulation, which often adds significant compliance costs and bureaucracy. These burdens cut into already razor-thin margins, which make it difficult for family-owned agri-businesses to survive and be passed down to subsequent generations. A recent Farm Journal Pulse poll found that 72% of U.S. farmers believe President Biden’s climate goals will hurt their operations by adding more red tape.
That is why the bipartisan support for the Growing Climate Solutions Act is encouraging. This bill—which was co-sponsored by Senator Mike Crapo and passed by the Senate with a remarkable 92-to-8 margin—would create programs to help farmers and ranchers participate in carbon-capture markets.
In other words, it would help growers access new revenue for employing land-use practices that remove carbon from the atmosphere—which are some of the most effective, and cost-effective, ways to reduce greenhouse gases, and which many landowners already use.
I urge Congressman Mike Simpson to work with his colleagues to get the Growing Climate Solutions Act through the U.S. House of Representatives and across the President’s desk. Doing so will make Idaho’s farmers and ranchers an ally in the fight against climate change, which will benefit our communities, our economy and our environment.