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Coalition of farmers and ranchers endorses Green New Deal

A national coalition representing thousands of farmers and ranchers endorsed the Green New Deal on Wednesday, with Democratic lawmakers from agricultural states praising their support.

“It makes all the sense in the world that farmers and ranchers support our Green New Deal resolution,” Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution, said at a news conference Wednesday.

She is also sponsor of the Climate Stewardship Act, the House version of a climate bill authored by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) that would provide incentives to farmers and ranchers to adopt more sustainable agricultural methods.

Regeneration International, one of the organizers of the ranchers and farmers coalition, argued that overhauling the agricultural sector could help sequester carbon emissions in the soil, reversing the industry’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agricultural Sector accounted for 9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. 

Will Harris, co-chairman of the coalition and owner of a cattle farm, said at Wednesday’s press conference that a study done by research firm Quantis found that his farm sequestered 3.5 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent for every pound of beef he produced.

“The way we raise cattle is actually part of a solution to climate change. We are mitigating greenhouse gases,” Harris said.

The Green New Deal resolution was introduced in both chambers in February and calls for achieving global net-zero global emissions by 2050. The measure calls for reducing pollution and greenhouse gasses created by agriculture by “as much as is technologically feasible.”

“This is where America is going. This is where progressive agriculture is tuned in. This is what the American public wants, and the Green New Deal for agriculture is a framework to approach it,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said Wednesday.

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