WASHINGTON, D.C. — The passage of the Climate Action Now Act through the House of Representatives on Thursday includes an amendment from 8th District U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, counting farm conservation practices among strategies to slow human-caused climate change.
The bill, which is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate, prohibits the use of federal funds to take any action withdrawing the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Agreement. President Donald Trump announced the country's withdrawal in June 2017, effective in November 2020.
Majority Democrats in the House voted en masse for the act, with three Republican representatives joining them. The vote was 231-190.
Schrier's amendment, one of about 90 proposed to the bill, allows voluntary farm and ranch practices such as soil conservation to be considered in compliance with the Paris agreement, which called for reduced worldwide carbon output and a halt to global warming below two degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
"Farmers are already expanding no-till practices, rotating crops, and planting cover-crops to sequester carbon, fix nitrogen and other soil nutrients, and reduce erosion," Schrier, a Sammamish Democrat, said upon introducing her amendment. "With that healthier soil packed with organic matter, they are decreasing their reliance on fossil fuel-based fertilizers, increasing yields, saving water, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We must recognize and celebrate the contributions of our farmers who engage in sustainable farming practices."
Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013