Senator has concerns about shifting government “Carbon Bank” concept

The ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee says he has concerns about the government operating carbon banks.

Senator John Boozman of Arkansas says the proposed concepts keep evolving and it creates confusion for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.   “Earlier in this year as this was being discussed there was talk of actually the government going in and using taxpayer dollars to buy carbon credits from farmers and then holding those,” he says.  “And that was the carbon bank.” And, Boozman says he doesn’t think the Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to pursue this type of carbon bank without Congressional authorization.

He tells Brownfield he isn’t opposed to carbon banks, which is why he was one of the co-sponsors of the Growing Climate Solutions Act of 2020.  “What that did was give USDA the authority to prepare farmers with the infrastructure they needed in place, particularly small and medium farmers who just don’t wherewithal to understand the complexities of getting into a market like that,” he says. 

Boozman says many of the farmers in his state can get behind a voluntary program. “The farmers that I’ve been visiting with, I think there’s real concern about the government trying to take this over,” he says.  “There is so much confusion about what a carbon bank represents.

Earlier this week the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance released recommendations for the USDA to lay the foundation for a carbon bank, including developing a series of pilot projects to identify the best opportunities for the future.

AUDIO: Senator John Boozman, Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee

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