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House Republicans introduce alternative climate solutions

Republicans with the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committees have introduced what they’re calling innovative and science-based alternatives to the Growing Climate Solutions Act.

House Ag Ranking Member Glenn GT Thompson discussed the bills during a press call this morning.

“There are a number of agricultural bills being rolled out today that incentive healthy soils, precision agriculture technology, healthy forests, and more public-private partnerships to fund, build upon, and advance proven climate smart practices,” he says. “All these bills have one thing in common—they are designed to reduce our carbon footprint while increasing the productivity and the economic competitiveness of our farms and rural communities. We cannot sacrifice a healthy economy for a healthy environment and vice versa.”  

The Pennsylvania Republican says the Sponsoring USDA Sustainability Targets in Agriculture to Incentive Natural Solutions Act, or the SUSTAINS Act, seeks to address two issues.

“Number one, the demand for conservation programs far outweighs the funding that’s available and number two, the bill gives the private sector an opportunity to help meet public climate change commitments,” he says.

Congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois discussed the Naturally Offsetting Emissions by Managing and Implementing Tillage Strategies Act, or NO EMITS Act.

“This bill will help to optimize agriculture’s ability to sequester carbon, reduce net emissions, and will do it by establishing soil health transition incentive program,” he says. “By providing states with the flexibility in funding, they’re the ones that are going to be able to build upon existing programs and develop new scientific best-practices that will improve soil health. This could look like direct payments or technical assistance to producers and the bill provides a host of tools geared toward incenting ag producers who are transitioning their farms to more soil health-based cropping systems.”

Congressman Dusty Johnson of South Dakota says the FIRE Act, or the Forestry Improvements to Restore the Environment Act, rejects the “either or” approach to climate.

“For too long environmental activists have told us either we need to grow the economy or we save the environment,” he says. “…the reality is we can grow the economy and we can improve our environmental stewardship.”  

He says the bill allows for better forestry management.  

Other bills introduced include the Producing Responsible Energy and Conservation Incentives and Solutions for the Environment Act, or PRECISE Act, by Ashley Hinson of Iowa and the Restoring Environments, Soils, Trees, and Operations to develop the Rural Economy Act, or RESTORE Act by Doug LaMalfa of California.

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