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Momentum Grows for Spanberger’s Bipartisan, Bicameral Growing Climate Solutions Act, Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus Endorses Legislation

The Bipartisan Legislation — Passed in the U.S. Senate by a Vote of 92 to 8 in June 2021 — Would Help American Farmers & Producers Access Carbon Markets, Monetize Conservation Practices, & Combat the Climate Crisis

HENRICO, V.A. —  The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus endorsed U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s Growing Climate Solutions Act, which aims to remove barriers for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to participate in the voluntary carbon credit marketplace.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act would create a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets. Through the program, USDA would help connect landowners to private sector actors who can assist the landowners in implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their sustainable practices.

This endorsement marks continued, bipartisan momentum behind Spanberger’s bill to support crop and livestock producers. In June 2021, the U.S. Senate voted 92 to 8 to pass the U.S. Senate’s version of the legislation. Spanberger — Chair of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee — is leading the U.S. House version of the legislation alongside U.S. Representative Don Bacon (R-NE-02). Spanberger and Bacon reintroduced the bill in April 2021.

“As Chair of the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee, I know that farmers can play a key role in pushing back against the effects of climate change. America’s crop and livestock producers are increasingly engaging in voluntary conservation practices that both protect our soil and benefit their bottom lines. To help them expand these operations, our Growing Climate Solutions Act takes commonsense steps to give farmers the support and technical assistance they deserve,” said Spanberger. “I am proud that our bill has the endorsement of the Problem Solvers Caucus, particularly because our legislation represents the progress that can be achieved when we work to find common ground in the battle against the climate crisis. Our bill has broad support from America’s farm groups, environmental organizations, and Fortune 500 companies — and it represents a major step forward for our nation’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors as we tackle the ecological challenges of the future.” 

“This bipartisan bill will benefit farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in both Nebraska and across the US by helping them navigate and participate in carbon credit markets,” said Bacon. “This will in turn reduce global greenhouse emissions and shape climate policy to include sustainable agricultural practices that have both the consumer and environment in mind. Our Ag community takes pride in being good environmental stewards and leaders. To help them achieve this, they need access to reliable information about markets, technical assistance barriers, and credit protocol verifiers that give landowners the confidence and knowledge they need to benefit from the practices of sustainable agriculture, while feeding the globe and regenerating our lands and waters.”

The Growing Climate Solutions Act garnered the support of more than 75 percent of the Problem Solvers Caucus. The bill is cosponsored by fellow Problem Solves Caucus Members U.S. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06), John Curtis (R-UT-03), Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), John Katko (R-NY-24), Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03), Lou Correa (D-CA-46), Tom Rice (R-SC-07), Conor Lamb (D-PA-17), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16), Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Ed Case (D-HI-03), and Josh Harder (D-CA-10). 

“This innovative bipartisan legislation will incentivize our farmers and ranchers to reduce their environmental footprint, and I'm proud that the Problem Solvers Caucus has come together to endorse this initiative,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05). “After all, protecting our environment should be something that everyone, Democrats and Republicans, can come together around.”

“We can reduce carbon emissions while promoting conservation and agricultural sustainability,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01). “The bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act is a great example of Republicans and Democrats coming together to create bipartisan solutions to our nation’s immediate challenges.”

“The bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act is common-sense legislation that recognizes the important role of America’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters in our nation’s climate leadership,” said U.S. Representative Steven Horsford (D-NV-04). “I’m proud to join my colleagues in the Problem Solvers Caucus to endorse this important bill, which would expand opportunities for our nation’s agricultural sector to participate in the green economy while expanding yields and increasing profits.” 

“I’m glad to join the Problem Solvers Caucus in endorsing the Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill that I was proud to introduce alongside Rep. Spanberger and Rep. Bacon,” said U.S. Representative John Katko (R-NY-24). “This bill, which has received broad support from the agricultural community, expands the ability of farmers to participate in carbon markets and incentives to reduce emissions. Critically, this consensus-driven approach provides necessary technical assistance to farmers and a voluntary pathway to help address the environmental and climate challenges facing our nation.”

“California farmers, foresters, and ranchers continue to be directly impacted by the effects of climate change. This bipartisan and bicameral bill eliminates barriers to participate in voluntary carbon markets and incentivize sustainable farming practices. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to finish this effort,” said U.S. Representative Jim Costa (D-CA-16).

The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in the U.S. House comprised of 58 Members — equally divided between Democrats and Republicans — committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. Spanberger serves as Vice-Chair of the caucus.

BACKGROUND

The Growing Climate Solutions Act is supported by a wide range of farm, environment, and industry organizations in Virginia and across the country — including the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and more. Click here for a list of the Growing Climate Solutions Act’s supporters.

The bipartisan bill is led in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Braun (R-IN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

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