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The Farming Lobby’s Cunning Plan To Fight Climate Change—and Regulation

The American Farm Bureau Federation has recast itself as a climate warrior, pushing for private offset markets relying on the fraught science of soil sequestration.

In 1980, the American Farm Bureau Federation, currently the largest agricultural lobbying group and third-largest insurance company in the country, called for the Environmental Protection Agency to be abolished. They’ve sued it regularly ever since. The Farm Bureau lobbied against the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the United States rule, and cap and trade like they were existential threats. Their policy book and local chapters barely concede the existence of anthropogenic warming.

Now, the group is busy portraying itself as an environment and climate advocate. Two weeks after the November election, the Farm Bureau joined the Environmental Defense Fund and others in a new Food and Agriculture Climate Alliancereleasing a slate of “climate policy recommendations.” At the top, “Provide voluntary, incentive-based tools and additional technical assistance for farmers, ranchers and foresters to maximize the sequestration of carbon and the reduction of other greenhouse gas emissions, and increase climate resilience.”

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