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‘Farm Bill robs our farms’: House energy coalition disappointed in Ag Committee Republicans

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Leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) are disappointed that House Agriculture Committee Republicans continue not to listen to House Democrats’ repeated calls to protect climate-smart agriculture programs.

SEEC Co-Chairs Reps. Doris Matsui, Mike Quigley, and Paul Tonko, Vice Chairs Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia, Matt Cartwright, Sean Casten, Chellie Pingree, and Katie Porter, and Chair Emeritus Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia released a statement in response to the House Agriculture Committee markup of a partisan Farm Bill.

“Just as our members cautioned not to do, this bill removes the climate guardrails from our Inflation Reduction Act conservation investments and imposes new restrictions on the Commodity Credit Corporation to prevent its funds from being spent on climate-friendly agriculture. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) utilized the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide over $3 billion in support to a diverse range of farmers, ranchers and private forest owners with climate-smart projects. This Farm Bill robs our farms of the opportunities to do all they can to improve soil health, reduce fertilizer costs, and improve soil water retention, all while enhancing the resilience of our communities and planet. House Republicans are opting to sacrifice the well-being of America’s farmers rather than admit that we’re in the midst of a climate crisis,” SEEC leaders said.

SEEC leaders said Republicans in the committee “failed to change course and adopt amendments to fix these issues and others – particularly the egregious cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Thrifty Food Plan – so that we can have a bipartisan Farm Bill again, which has been our goal all along.”

SEEC has heard from farmer across the United States how the climate-smart programs “are essential to putting food on Americans’ tables. That is why throughout this process, House Democrats have put in a good faith effort to secure commonsense climate-friendly provisions in this historically bipartisan legislation. We stand alongside our farmers at the ready whenever House Republicans are willing to put in an honest effort to deliver the Farm Bill that America needs.”

The SEEC is a coalition of 98 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, founded in January 2009, who are a focused, active and effective coalition for advancing policies that address climate change, promote clean energy innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, create family-sustaining clean jobs, protect our nation’s air, water, and natural environment and promote environmental justice.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.