Missouri Farmers Union has long supported public policy that provides an opportunity for agriculture to play a positive role in addressing our climate and energy needs. The effects of a changing climate threaten our nation's agricultural sector and America's continued dependence on foreign oil weakens our national security. Comprehensive climate and energy legislation would move the country in the right direction by decreasing carbon dioxide emissions, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and spurring the growth of the domestic renewable energy industry.
Climate and energy legislation must recognize the key role of agriculture in reducing greenhouse gases and achieving energy independence. Such a bill must include multiple carbon offsets for American farms and ranches and encourage the production of renewable energy from wind, biomass, biodiesel and ethanol. A bill including incentives for agriculture provides farmers and ranchers the opportunity to be part of America's climate and energy solution.
Climate and energy legislation is currently pending in the U.S. Senate. It is imperative that the Senate pass a strong, comprehensive bill this year to provide our country with a sustainable and secure carbon and energy policy.
Jill Lucht is a Columbia resident and Missouri Farmers Union board member.