June 23, 2021
The Honorable Mike Braun
404 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Braun,
On behalf of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), I am writing to offer CRES’ strong support for S. 1251, the Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA). This bill was reported by the Senate Agriculture Committee on a unanimous vote and has been cosponsored by 24 Republican Senators. CRES urges the Senate to pass this bipartisan legislation in its current form.
GCSA will break down barriers for farmers, ranchers, and landowners to participate in voluntary carbon credit markets. The bill directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a program to certify third-party verifiers and technical assistance providers. This program will connect producers to the experts that will help them earn an additional stream of revenue by monetizing conservation practices, which already produce many soil, water, and air benefits.
This bill establishes a council comprised primarily of experienced farmers and ranchers to advise USDA on program implementation and standards, which will ensure that producers come first in this limited-government approach. GCSA also contains provisions guaranteeing that the program will remain voluntary, that third parties will provide accurate estimates of costs and revenues, and that revenues will be distributed fairly to farms of all types and sizes. These provisions are among the reasons the GCSA has the overwhelming support of agricultural leaders, including endorsements from the American Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, and American Soybean Association.
Addressing climate change while strengthening our international competitiveness will require innovation across all sectors of our economy—including agriculture. CRES thanks you and Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman, for your judicious, bipartisan work on this commonsense legislation that puts agriculture first while providing a real path for decreased carbon emissions. S. 1251, in its current form, should be expeditiously passed by the U.S. Senate.
Thank you for your leadership on this critical issue.