To the Editor:
America's family farmers and ranchers have a unique role to play when it comes to combating global climate change and the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 is a step in the right direction.
As President Obama said about the legislation's passage, it is a "bold and necessary step."
Farmers Union supports a national, mandatory carbon emission cap and trade system to reduce non-farm greenhouse gas emissions.
As an energy-intensive industry, we know that doing so will result in increased production costs.
However, the flexible agriculture offset program within the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 will allow producers to mitigate some of these increased costs by adopting environmentally-friendly practices.
This will allow American farmers and ranchers to continue to provide consumers with the most affordable and abundant food supply in the world.
Further, the individual producers referred to as "early actors," those who have been engaged in innovative efforts to sequester carbon using a variety of techniques, are recognized for their efforts.
Failing to pass climate change legislation is not an option.
Without congressional action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to act.
This regulatory action would mean the positive provisions within the legislation would be lost.
The time has come and America's farmers and ranchers are ready, willing and able to be part of the climate change solution.
President of the Indiana Farmers Union,