Pingree Calls House Agriculture Reconciliation Bill a ‘Win’ for Climate Research, Forest Resilience, Renewable Energy
Maine 1st District Congresswoman stressed the importance of adding climate-smart investments in USDA’s voluntary conservation programs as the bill moves forward
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, today called the panel’s markup of the agriculture provisions of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation legislation a “win” for climate research, renewable energy, and the nation’s forests. The bill specifically includes $7.75 billion for climate-focused agricultural research; $18.69 billion for rural development and renewable energy; and $40 billion to increase forest resilience in the face of climate change, reduce wildfire risk, and enhance carbon sequestration.
“Thanks to our committee this budget reconciliation bill will include an unprecedented investment in climate research, forest resilience, and on-farm renewable energy. These are long overdue investments that will create green jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester more carbon in our forests, and empower American farmers, ranchers, and foresters with the research and technology they need to address climate change. I am extremely proud that the reconciliation bill includes key tenets of my Agriculture Resilience Act, Rural Forest Markets Act, and Community Wood Facilities Assistance Act all of which I wrote to support farmers and foresters in the fight against climate change,” said Congresswoman Pingree.
“I am, however, disappointed that we did not consider investments in USDA’s voluntary conservation programs at today’s markup,” Pingree continued. “Programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program are a critically important tool to help farmers implement practices that sequester additional carbon in the soil and reduce emissions – and demand for these programs far exceeds available funding. This bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally address these funding shortfalls and provide more on-the-ground technical support to help farmers adopt climate-smart practices. I appreciate that the Chairman has committed to including these investments as this bill moves forward.”
CLIMATE-FOCUSED AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH & PROGRAMS FUNDED IN THE BILL INCLUDE:
Pingree has long advocated for greater federal investment in natural climate solutions which help farmers and foresters sequester more carbon and reduce emissions. The budget reconciliation bill includes essential elements of Pingree’s Rural Forest Markets Act, Agriculture Resilience Act, and Community Wood Facilities Assistance Act.