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Climate Bill Could Mean Payday For Farmers

America’s Climate Security Act, a bill approved by a subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee would create a potential $24 billion-a-year market for credits representing carbon dioxide stored in soil, Bloomberg reports. Senators Joseph Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, and John Warner, a Virginia Republican, are co-sponsoring the measure.

Like other climate change proposals in Congress, the bill allows utilities, refiners and manufacturers to trade credits to help meet new pollution requirements. The legislation gives farmers a stake in the potential market for emission credits.

Under mandatory emission limits, potential sales of credits from carbon buried in cropland could be between $2.6 billion and $24.3 billion annually, depending on credit prices, according to a report from the 21st Century Agricultural Policy Project.

The bill would cut emissions by 63 percent over the next four decades by capping pollution from power plants, refineries and certain manufacturers. It’s competing with at least seven Senate proposals to cap greenhouse gases.

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