Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Rural America Would Win Big with Senate Climate Action
Press Release

RELEASE: Rural America Would Win Big with Senate Climate Action

Senate climate legislation includes key benefits for rural America that would allow farmers to take the lead in the clean-energy economy.

By Jake Caldwell | July 22, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture conducts a welcome hearing on comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation. Rural America has a great deal to gain from Senate action on comprehensive clean energy and climate change. It represents an opportunity to raise incomes, create jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil, stabilize volatile input prices, and reduce the threat posed by extreme weather to rural livelihoods and the nation’s food and energy supplies.

Little or no action is a huge gamble. It places the fate of U.S. agriculture in a byzantine administrative process of federal regulation led by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act.

What’s more, opposition to clean energy and climate change legislation could forever erase any of the benefits secured for farmers in the House version of the legislation. Senate action on clean energy and climate change legislation is necessary in order to ensure the benefits of these provisions survive and are delivered to rural America.

And inaction on clean energy and global warming represents ongoing adherence to a status quo of roller coaster energy prices, extreme weather events, and increasing dependence on disaster assistance.

The key benefits and gains for rural America secured in the House bill include:

  • Cap-and-trade exemptions for agriculture and forestry.
  • Incentives for farms and forests to sequester more global warming pollution.
  • The opportunity for farmers to earn real money selling carbon offsets.
  • Clean energy investment with facilities sited in rural America.
  • Investment in clean fuels of the future, produced by American farms.

Read the full column by Jake Caldwell here.

To speak with Jake Caldwell, please contact Suzi Emmerling at semmerling@americanprogressaction.org or 202-481-8224.

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