American Farmland Trust President John Scholl says failure of Congress to exempt agriculture from greenhouse gas regulations points out the need for comprehensive legislation on the issue.

“I commend Senators Baucus (D-MT) and Stabenow (D-MI) for their leadership in trying to exempt agriculture from greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) regulations, Scholl says.

“The failure today of their amendments that would have provided some measure of regulatory protection to our nation’s farmers and ranchers points out the need for Congress to cease piecemeal efforts to resolve this issue.

 “The Supreme Court has ruled, and pursuant to that ruling, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward, as required, to regulate GHG. Our weather patterns are clearly changing, and for agriculture, that’s a serious and imperative concern demanding action,” adds Scholl. “Everyone agrees that a comprehensive legislative solution would be more effective than subjecting farmers to clumsier, costly, and mandatory EPA regulations that are being put in place to address this issue.

“Riders on spending bills and debates on amendments to small business legislation are not the right forum to address such an important issue as GHG,” Scholl says. “Congress as a whole should grapple with clean energy and climate issues in order to create a comprehensive framework for dealing with this problem.

“Again, I applaud Senators Baucus and Stabenow for their efforts and leadership, and challenge all members of Congress to work together to enact positive policies that will allow farmers to contribute to GHG reductions on working farms and ranches while keeping our agriculture sector vibrant and competitive for the future.”