Dirty Ag Riders Make it in Spending Bill

Friends of the Earth Condemns Dirty Ag Riders in Omnibus Spending Bill

WASHINGTON – Two poison pill agricultural provisions were added to the Congressional omnibus appropriations package today, teeing up a vote on the Growing Climate Solutions Act (GSCA) and SUSTAINS Act in the year-end spending bill. These provisions would give immense power and legitimacy to corporate carbon trading schemes and begin to privatize vital USDA Conservation programs, harming their effectiveness and credibility.

Carbon offset programs, as promoted in the GCSA, are ineffective at reducing climate emissions and pollute frontline communities, taking federal funding away from truly sustainable agricultural practices necessary to address climate change. The SUSTAINS Act would allow private interests to influence the direction of USDA’s conservation programs, leveraging the programs for corporate greenwashing.

Jason Davidson, Senior Food and Agriculture Campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said this:

American agriculture could be part of the climate solution, but Congress’ year-end omnibus shuns real climate action and jeopardizes frontline communities. The bill supports corporate carbon trading scams and undermines USDA’s critical conservation programs. These provisions will exacerbate corporate control in agriculture, blatantly ignoring President Biden’s directive to address corporate concentration.

This unconscionable handout to Big Ag will hurt farmers and frontline communities and fail to mitigate climate change. It tells USDA to rubber stamp corporate pollution trading programs while handing corporations the reins to some of USDA’s most important tools. By blessing this deal, Democratic leadership has shamefully prioritized corporate agribusiness at the expense of farmers, frontline communities and our climate.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act has been opposed by more than 220  food, farming, climate and environmental organizations.

Contact: Shaye Skiff, [email protected], 202-222-0723

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