Cox votes to pass pens letter urging Congress to help farmers with greenhouse gas emissions

File Photo Rep. TJ Cox
File Photo Rep. TJ Cox

California congressman, TJ Cox penned a letter to the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, urging the Select Committee to include recommendations in its forthcoming report recognizing the needs of agriculture and the contributions farmers and ranchers can make to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if given the proper tools and adequate resources.

In recent years, states like California have had to cope with longer, more frequent, and more intense drought alternated by periods of heavy precipitation made more intense by climate change. These impacts will continue to worsen unless Congress mobilizes to enact a response that includes strengthening the partnerships with the agricultural community. The recommendations outlined in Rep. Cox’s letter include:  

  • Increase funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to meet projected needs nationwide, especially in California, where over 58 million dollars in 1062 valid unfunded EQIP applications in 2019 show how oversubscribed environmental programs are in the state.  
  • Support more agricultural research and development programs and prioritize climate adaptation and mitigation research at the USDA Agricultural Research Service and related agencies. 
  • Increase Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding targeted to National Ambient Air Quality Standards non-attainment areas under the Clean Air Act.  
  • Support funding to enable the purchase, implementation and utilization of methane digesters and other technology that capture on-farm methane emissions reduces farm energy costs and have the potential to be an additional revenue stream for producers. 

Support funding to assist farmers forced to transition away from irrigated agriculture due to implementation of state groundwater sustainability laws and encourage transition into rangeland that would help sequester more carbon than if the land was merely idle.   

“Farmers and ranchers are proud stewards of the land and are eager and willing to help combat this climate crisis. What they need is a strong partner in the federal government because federal support is key to enabling farmers to succeed and protecting our environment,” said Cox. “I am asking my House colleagues to look closely at our recommendations outlined in my letter to help agriculture be part of the solution to climate change.”   

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