Agricultural Wins Kick Off 2023 

2023 is off to a great start for American agriculture and our environment.  

Two pieces of legislation that CRES has long championed—the Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA) and the Sponsoring USDA Sustainability Targets in Agriculture to Incentivize Natural Solutions (SUSTAINS) Act—were passed by Congress and signed into law just before Christmas. 

Few Americans play a more important role in taking care of our environment, generation after generation, than our nation’s hardworking farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Despite this, they have largely been left out of the climate conversation—until now.  

GCSA empowers American farmers to be part of the climate solution on a voluntary basis and creates options for people and companies to offset carbon emissions without Washington mandates. It promotes the conservative values of conservation and sustainable land-use, while addressing climate change. 

And – importantly – it puts money into the pockets of the men and women who feed, fuel and clothe Americans.  

CRES worked closely with lawmakers in both chambers of Congress to get GCSA across the finish line. Last year, we launched to support the legislation and thank Senators for passing GCSA by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 92-8.  

Additionally, the SUSTAINS Act gives an opportunity for the private sector to partner with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to engage farmers and ranchers in expanding the use of practices to sequester carbon, improve wildlife habitats, protect sources of drinking water, and address other natural resource priorities.  

Agriculture producers, whose livelihoods depend on a healthy environment, are on the front line of protecting our resources. Now that the SUSTAINS Act has become law, the USDA is able to match private-sector investments and work directly with the agriculture sector to enhance conservation efforts.  

Both measures will provide a much-needed boost to America’s farmers and ranchers as supply chain constraints and inflation have hit the agricultural sector hard—particularly small and independent operators. 

As CRES President Heather Reams remarked, “The passage of GCSA and the SUSTAINS Act is a step in the right direction – commonsense, conservative-backed environmental policy that recognizes the importance of leveraging American ingenuity and innovation to advance the interests of American agriculture and reduce global emissions.” 

This progress would not have been possible without the 27 Senate Republicans and 31 House Republicans, including primary sponsors Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Senate Agriculture Republican Leader John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), who cosponsored GCSA, and House Agriculture Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.), who drafted the SUSTAINS Act.

CRES will continue to advocate for commonsense, conservative environmental policy that recognizes the importance of leveraging American ingenuity and innovation to reduce global emissions and support the men and women on the front lines of land management.


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