Opening Statement: Republican Leader Glenn "GT" Thompson Full Committee on Agriculture Hearing: “The Role of Climate Research in Supporting Agricultural Resiliency”
Washington, June 15, 2022
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Good morning and thank you Chairman Scott.
Whenever I discuss climate solutions, I have four guiding principles that I keep in mind.
First and foremost, climate policies need to benefit producers by helping them increase production and profitability. Second, you cannot have a healthier environment without a healthier economy. And vice versa. Next, whatever we do should truly be science-based, not based on political science. And lastly, we need to start with what we know works, and that’s the Farm Bill’s conservation programs.
These voluntary, incentive-based programs have proven to be effective; however, it is important to note the impact the research title has on understanding and forming conservation practices. Since the 1940s, American agriculture has been able to increase production by 287% while total farm inputs remained mostly unchanged. This is an amazing success story for our farmers and ranchers who are supported by Farm Bill programs.
We all know American agriculture provides the safest, most sustainable, and most efficient food and fiber supply in the world while some countries have lower environmental standards, worse labor conditions, and fewer food safety considerations. By promoting policies that continue to increase American productivity while reducing inputs, we can displace the production of those less efficient countries and reduce global emissions from the agriculture industry.
As we look to address climate solutions, we should be focusing on programs and policies that unleash American production, provide certainty, increase profitability, and foster innovation. We also need to ensure we are avoiding burdensome regulations like the rewrite of WOTUS and proposed revisions to NEPA. By doing these things, we can ensure consumers will continue to have access to a safe and affordable food supply.
In fact, in a letter sent on Monday of this week, I along with Leader McCarthy and nearly 100 of my Republican colleagues called upon President Biden to end his regulatory assault on rural America, or as I like to call it, essential America. And earlier today, I introduced a bill that would force the President to change course and actually combat rising inflation and input costs while providing regulatory certainty to farmers and ranchers.
Before closing, I want to reiterate what I stated at the climate hearing back in March. I will reject complicating our programs and making climate the focus of every title of the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization. For years, programs included in the research title, like the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, have been funding projects that address major issues impacting the agriculture industry and benefitting the environment without being specifically limited to climate change research.
That being said, I would like to thank the witnesses for taking the time to be here with us today. I am looking forward to hearing your testimony.
Thank you, Chairman Scott. I yield back.