House Republican farm bill skirts climate change

By Marc Heller | 05/13/2024 01:43 PM EDT

Agriculture Chair Glenn Thompson’s farm bill summary boosts conservation programs but avoids any mention of reducing greenhouse gases.

Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.).

House Agriculture Chair Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.). Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Republican chair of the House Agriculture Committee released a farm bill summary that touts flood prevention programs and technological advancements in farming — but makes no direct mention of the climate change that’s wreaking havoc in the countryside.

Rep. Glenn Thompson’s outline released Friday calls for a revamp of the popular Conservation Reserve Program, and he would move billions of dollars in climate-oriented conservation money into more traditional land practices while removing that Democratic-led focus.

Thompson, from rural Pennsylvania, said he’s open to additional ideas from lawmakers ahead of a May 23 committee markup. Policy groups have said they expect a partisan vote despite the chair’s inclusion of many provisions co-authored by Democrats, as conservation and climate change become one of the bill’s policy battlegrounds.


“Each title takes into consideration the varying opinions of all who produce as much as those who consume,” Thompson said in an open letter accompanying the summary. “It is not one-sided, it does not favor a fringe agenda, and it certainly does no harm to the programs and policies that feed, fuel, and clothe our nation.”