Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced a bill that would establish an offsets program as part of the Senate cap-and-trade bill. The bill establishes an initial list of eligible offsets that include agricultural practices such as no-till, methane digesters, tree planting, precision fertilizer application and more. Agricultural and forestry offsets would be administered by USDA. The bill would allow participation by “early actors” who began their eligible practices after 2001, as well as those already participating in existing voluntary programs like the Chicago Climate Exchange, so long as those programs meet the requirements of the bill. The bill is similar to provisions added earlier this year by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) to H.R. 2454 that passed the House. AFBF has not yet taken a position on the Stabenow bill, but supported the amendments from Peterson in the House bill. Farm Bureau continues to oppose S. 1733, the lead climate change bill in the Senate.
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