EO includes ag in whole-government carbon approach
The Jan. 27 executive order (EO) on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad sought to double the amount of land conserved in the U.S. and involved the agriculture sector in the government’s efforts to address climate change.
Agriculture and climate change
“We see farmers making American agriculture first in the world to achieve net zero emissions and gaining new sources of income in the process,” said President Biden.
“The order directs the Secretary of Agriculture to collect input from farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders on how to use federal programs to encourage adoption of climate-smart agricultural technologies producing verifiable carbon reductions and sequestrations and creating new sources of income and jobs for rural Americans,” according to a White House fact sheet on the order.
This same order committed the nation to the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of U.S. public lands and oceans by the year 2030, enrolling stakeholder engagement from agricultural and forest landowners, as well as fishermen, native tribes and government officials to participate.
Additionally, the order called for a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative to be established. This initiative is to, “Put a new generation of Americans to work conserving and restoring public lands and waters, increasing reforestation, increasing carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protecting biodiversity, improving access to recreation and addressing climate change.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), along with the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), has outlined more than 40 recommendations to guide the development of climate policy affecting agriculture.
“It is crucial as new strategies are implemented, our leaders listen to the people who will be affected most,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “While the president has invited us to the table, we’d like to invite him to the table we’ve already set through the FACA.”
In a whole-government approach, the EO established the While House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, which will be led by the National Climate Advisor. The order also established the National Climate Task Force, which assembled leaders from 21 federal agencies.
Impacting many western states, the EO also paused new oil and gas leasing on public lands and called for a comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas program.
“The order formalizes President Biden’s commitment to make environmental justice a part of the mission of every agency by directing federal agencies to develop programs, policies and activities to address the disproportionate health, environmental, economic and climate impacts on disadvantaged communities,” stated a White House press release.
“Despite all the hot air from climate alarmists, banning new oil, gas and coal leases on federal land and waters will do nothing to address climate change. Energy producers will simply go elsewhere – likely out of state or overseas,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), said in a statement. “The president’s order will deprive thousands of people in Wyoming of their jobs and a principal source of revenue for public education and other essential services.”
Averi Hales is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.