Miss. Senator Cosponsored Bipartisan Bill to Promote Forest, Farm & Ranch Access to Carbon Credit Markets as Nation Tackles Climate Change Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today praised Senate passage of bipartisan legislation to improve access to carbon credit markets for private forest owners and agriculture producers interested in ramping up conservation efforts.

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hyde-Smith in April signed on as an original cosponsor to the Growing Climate Solutions Act (S.1251).  The Senate passed the bill, 92-8, Thursday.

“Many foresters, farmers, and ranchers in Mississippi and around the nation are good stewards of the land because it’s their livelihood.  They also understand they can make voluntary contributions to conservation and environmental protection.  This strong, bipartisan bill would create opportunities for them to do that,” Hyde-Smith said.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act would create a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certification program to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmer and forest landowner participation in carbon credit markets.

Through a new Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party Verifier Certification Program, the USDA would certify assistance providers to help farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners implement protocols and monetize the climate value of their voluntary sustainable agriculture and forestry-related practices.

More than 175 organizations and companies, including leading agricultural and environmental organizations, endorse the legislation.  They include the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), United States Cattlemen’s Association, Ducks Unlimited, American Soybean Association, and National Cotton Council.

The Senate bill, introduced by Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.), will now be available for consideration by the House of Representatives.

A section-by-section review of S.1251 is available here.