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Miller-Meeks, Pingree Introduce the Biochar Research Network Act of 2022

Today, July 29, 2022, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks M.D. (IA-02) and House Agriculture Committee member Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01) introduced the bipartisan Biochar Research Network Act of 2022. This bill would create a National Biochar Research Network where biochar would be tested on varieties of soil to see how well biochar absorbs carbon and benefit farmers in surrounding areas by increasing crop production.  

“We can all agree that we want to leave a cleaner, healthier planet for our children and grandchildren. Our agricultural sector in Iowa is vital to our economy and biochar sits at the intersection of smart agriculture, environment, and energy practices,” said Congresswoman Miller-Meeks. “Biochar has the incredible potential to help sequester carbon in our agriculture communities and we must ensure that we are using every resource at our fingertips to promote this innovative tool, The benefits of biochar are not yet fully recognized, and this bill would promote research and provide us the information we need to fully utilize biochar in a variety of types of soil and methods.” 

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks previously wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency giving insight on biochar and the benefits biochar provides to the environment and renewable fuels. The letter urges the departments to address the rule-making processes that threaten the creation of the developing biochar industry.  

“In 2020, U.S. agriculture contributed around 11% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. This annual data highlights the key role farmers can and must play to be part of the climate solution. Many farmers, particularly in Maine, are already implementing climate-smart practices in their daily operations as they face impacts of climate change. But they can’t do this alone,” said Congresswoman Pingree, a member of both the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee and House Agriculture Committee. “Biochar is an exciting and innovative tool we can implement on farms across the U.S. to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Biochar has significant potential for carbon sequestration and improving soil fertility. However, to help increase application of biochar, we must support further research to filling existing knowledge gaps. This bill, which I am proud to introduce alongside Congresswoman Miller-Meeks, will fill that critical knowledge gap and help us gain a more complete understanding of biochar’s potential.” 

Read the full bill text HERE


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