The passage of climate change and energy legislation in this Congress is still an open question. Proposals range in scope from the American Clean Energy and Security Act – a comprehensive energy and climate bill passed by the House in 2009 but stalled in the Senate – to a narrow bill focused only on the BP oil spill and offshore drilling.
This week a letter addressed to Senate leadership and signed by over 75 organizations with farmer, rancher and rural supporters, was delivered by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to Senate offices. The organizations call for the passage in this Congress of comprehensive climate change and energy legislation that includes agriculture.
The letter emphasized that our nation’s farmers and ranchers will be among those most adversely affected by unpredictable weather patterns, increasing storm intensity, shifts in the distribution of pests, and other results of rapid climate change. Climate change legislation should include measures for them to establish sustainable and organic farming systems that will help them cope with the impacts of rapid climate change. These sustainable and organic farming systems have also been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester soil carbon. In addition, the letter noted the importance of Senate support for USDA conservation programs that provide research, technical assistance and financial incentives that address climate change mitigation and adaptation.
An NSAC press release about the letter is posted here.