Blackburn, Hagerty made right call on climate issue | Letters To Editor

On June 24, the US Senate passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority the Growing Climate Solutions Act, legislation to help farmers and foresters get paid for sequestering carbon on their land.

The bill passed by a vote of 92 to 8, with Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty voting in favor.

The bill now awaits action in the House.

The bipartisan effort was led by sponsors Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) And Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) Along with more than 50 other co-sponsors.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), which has seven chapters in Tennessee and more than 180,000 volunteers nationwide, has supported this legislation since its initial introduction. Our volunteers have brought it up in hundreds of lobby meetings in recent years and they sent 4,532 messages about the bill to Senate offices in May alone.

Here in Tennessee, CCL volunteers have met with both Sen. Hagerty once and Sen. Blackburn twice to discuss the bill since its initial introduction in the summer of 2020.

“We are happy CCL was able to play a role in advancing this positive and pragmatic legislation, and we’re proud that it has passed with such overwhelming bipartisan support,” said Danny Richter, CCL vice president of Government Affairs.

“We are thrilled that Sens. Hagerty and Blackburn have voted in support of this bipartisan climate bill and we’re grateful for their leadership, ”said David Thomforde, a CCL volunteer in Athens. “Agriculture is very important for our local economy and this bill will help farmers thrive while being more sustainable. We are also encouraged that the senators from both parties have worked together to pass this bill. ”

“In times like these, Americans need to see that our elected leaders can work together to solve our biggest problems,” added Mark Reynolds, CCL executive director. “The passage of this bill is an encouraging example of productive bipartisan effort on climate.”

The Growing Climate Solutions Act will help farmers and foresters become part of the climate solution by providing the technical assistance to help them access carbon credit markets so they can be paid for climate-smart practices that sequester carbon. The bill has broad support from over 60 leading agricultural and environmental organizations.

Farmers have the potential to play a major role in mitigating climate change. They are also the backbone of America’s food supply and they have suffered as COVID-19 has upended every step of the way we get food on our tables.

This legislation will help producers here in Tennessee and across the country financially, while incentivizing them to make their operations more sustainable.

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