WASHINGTON — Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) today announced legislation to support voluntary conservation practices on more than 100 million acres of U.S. farmland. The bill would also fund the planting of 10 billion trees.
With the right practices in place, farmland and forests could capture and store carbon in the ground, studies show. In addition, changes in the timing and amount of fertilizer applications could reduce emissions of nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas.
“No one understands the impacts of the climate crisis better than American farmers, who are already reeling from the effects of extreme weather,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s vice president of government affairs.
“The same practices that conserve carbon and reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer can also help protect our drinking water supplies,” Faber said. “Everyone can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially energy companies. But farmers are uniquely positioned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve carbon right away.”
Climate stewardship practices would also help make farms more resilient as extreme weather becomes more common, studies show.
Booker’s Climate Stewardship Act would increase funding for existing conservation programs to support voluntary climate stewardship practices identified by the Department of Agriculture. The bill would also expand programs to restore grasses and trees on frequently flooded or drought-prone farmland.
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) will lead companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.