Months of negotiation and advocacy kept Congress’ massive agriculture bill from being a disaster for the environment.
On Dec. 11, the U.S. House and Senate released details of their agreement on the Farm Bill, a bundle of policies that affect the U.S. agricultural industry. Earlier versions of the bill contained measures that would gut our environmental protections, undermining the Endangered Species and Clean Water Act, and repealing both the Clean Water Rule and the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. But, thanks in part to the work of our advocates and coalition partners, none of these made it into the final bill.
“Ultimately, we want a Farm Bill that we can applaud for what it does contain, not for what it doesn’t,” said Bart Johnsen-Harris, clean water advocate for our national network. “But passing a bill that doesn’t take us in the wrong direction is a good first step.”
Bart added that “future proposals should go even further to safeguard healthy food, clean water and environmental conservation.”
Photo: After months of negotiation, Congress agreed on a Farm Bill free of cuts to conservation programs. Credit: Public Domain