From DCNF – Bronson Winslow on February 16, 2023
Democratic lawmakers are seeking large amounts of funding for climate concerns in the five-year farm bill, according to The Washington Post.
The bill, which would allocate billions of dollars to agriculture and food programs across the country, is being retrofitted to “tackle the climate crisis” by adding provisions that assist farmers with “green” practices, according to the Post. Alongside provisions aimed at tackling the “climate crisis,” a group of 80 Democratic members of the House launched the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition’s Climate and Agriculture Task Force today, which will ensure the fam bill has “robust” climate provisions.
“We’ve already started planning for the farm bill and how to push the policies that are great for farmers, great for soil health and also great for the planet,”Democratic Washington Rep. Kim Schrier told the Post.
The coalition plans to launch other task forces to assist with climate provision in the farm bill, according to the Post. The task forces will include the Clean Energy Deployment Task Force, the Climate Jobs Task Force, the Climate and National Security Task Force and the Nature and Oceans Task Force.
The coalition and associated task forces will focus on sustainable forestry, conservation programs and research into how climate change is threatening agriculture, according to the Post. Agriculture is responsible for approximately 11% of greenhouse gas emission in the U.S.
“I think this farm bill could really turn out to be a huge climate win, ”Senior Policy Director for Agriculture at the Environmental Defense Fund Ben Thomas told the Post.
“Some Republican lawmakers are concerned that the provisions proposed by the coalition and associated task forces will increase the estimated cost of the farm bill, according to the Post. “We are looking at the most expensive farm bill ever,” Republican Arkansa Sen. and Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee member John Boozman said in a statement.
“The administration’s lack of good judgement and poor decision-making will make this farm bill a much heavier lift for Congress,” he continued.
Boozmen also criticized the Biden administration’s decision to “dramatically” increase SNAP spending in the farm bill.
“The total for all non-nutrition-related programs is approximately $225 billion. The 2021, 2026, and 2031 updates to the Thrifty Food plan alone, will cost more than all the spending outside the nutrition title. This is unsustainable and must be thoroughly debated as Congress considers the next farm bill,” he said.