Lewison: Farmers Are Already Doing Many Of The Practices Mentioned In IRA
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act has earmarked a lot of funding for climate smart Ag, in an effort according to the USDA, to battle greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and soil tillage. But Washington Policy Center’s Ag Director, Pam Lewison said the farming community already does a lot of the things listed in this legislation.
“And I think a lot of the reason people don’t talk about it is because it’s handy to say, well, ag, they’re not doing anything. Because a lot of what ag is doing is complicated, and it’s very scientific and it’s difficult to distill it down into something that’s easily palatable and easily understandable for people who are unfamiliar with it.”
In the meantime she noted, farmers, typically, have more pressing matters in the day-to-day operation of a farm.
“I think that is part of it too is farmers, in general, are sort of, of that frame of mind, what do you want from me?” There’s this sort of pervasive notion of, I’m doing what you asked, why do I have to explain it? And, I think that’s problematic. I would love to see the ag community run, not walk, to the table and say, on a proactive level, these are the things that we do already.”
Lewison said agriculture contributes just 11% of the total GHG emissions in the U.S., the smallest of any sector tracked by the EPA. She added a better answer for climate change and Ag would be fewer taxes and greater flexibility for farmers.
Lewison said urban politicians create rules that make farming harder, that ignore key needs of the industry, or both.
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