Pennsylvania is set to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce climate change pollution from electric power plants. Pennsylvania’s power sector, currently the fifth dirtiest in the nation, could achieve significant emission reductions through RGGI while creating value in myriad ways by driving investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change mitigation and carbon capture activities on the ground.
The agricultural offsets listed in the draft CO2 Budget Trading Program regulations should be expanded to include additional cost-effective agricultural practices that reduce CO2 emissions and sequester carbon. Many of the practices recognized as improving soil health also reduce carbon emissions and, in some cases, sequester atmospheric carbon in soil. These practices include no-till or reduced tillage; cover crops and diversified crop rotations; rotational grazing; reduced pesticide and fertilizer use; agroforestry practices such as silvopasture, windbreaks, hedgerows and riparian forest buffers; and soil amendments like manure, compost and biochar.
These practices that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve water quality also provide benefits such as farm resilience in the face of extreme weather and overall increases in farm profitability. Farms can be a larger part of the greenhouse gas solution, if given more incentives, technical support and funding.
Sign on to this letter by noon on January 14 to the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board urging them to include additional cost-effective agricultural practices that reduce CO2 emissions and sequester carbon in the CO2 Budget Trading Program. We will submit the letter with your signature on January 14, 2021.