Stabenow farm bill proposal adds climate protections

By Marc Heller | 05/01/2024 02:12 PM EDT

The Senate Agriculture chair’s new farm bill framework makes greenhouse gas reductions a priority in conservation programs.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) released her vision Wednesday for a new farm bill. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Senate Democrats are promoting a new five-year farm bill that would more closely tie conservation programs to tackling climate change, setting up a likely conflict with Republicans eager to tamp down such requirements.

Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced a detailed farm bill framework Wednesday that would make greenhouse gas reductions a priority in multiple conservation programs and provide additional incentive payments to farmers who cut down on methane emissions through feed adjustments for livestock.

The prominence of climate change mitigation runs through the proposal, including in the senator’s plan to move the Inflation Reduction Act’s billions of dollars in conservation money into the farm bill — and to preserve that law’s focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The senator did not release bill text.


Stabenow’s proposal would add greenhouse gas reductions and carbon sequestration to the stated purposes of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which helps farmers adopt conservation practices, and would authorize new incentive payments for measures that increase carbon storage or reduce greenhouse gases.