President Joe Biden needs the help of the powerful farm industry to reach his sky-high climate goals. But his plans for cutting agricultural emissions might not have enough teeth to take a big bite out of global warming.
Biden on Thursday pledged a drastic reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. But the White House hasn’t set any specific targets yet for agriculture, which accounts for 10 percent of all U.S. emissions, according to the EPA. Those discharges mostly stem from fertilizers, livestock and manure.
“To be realistic, the administration has to look at cutting some of the existing emissions,” said Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), who sits on the House Agriculture Committee. “We are going to have to talk about cutting emissions from farms and changing some of the practices.”
The administration has steered clear of discussing stricter environmental regulations that could scare off the largely conservative farm sector, as well as the rural lawmakers that Biden will need to advance many of his environmental goals. Farmers have been slow to wake up to the reality of climate change, though increasingly extreme weather of late has hammered farm country and forced a reckoning. [Continue reading…]