Key Vote YES on Lee Amendment to S. 1251

The American Energy Alliance urges all Senators to support the Lee Amendment to S. 1251 the Growing Climate Solutions Ace of 2021. Should this amendment not be adopted, AEA urges all Senators to oppose final passage.

Despite being described as “self-certification,” the certification program established by S.1251 is a de facto federalization of the environmental credits market. As has been seen repeatedly in other contexts, once the federal government sets “voluntary” standards, those standards become effective mandates as federal programs and funding become contingent on conforming to the standards and subsequent legislation and regulations incorporate the standards by reference. If the purpose of this legislation is to give farmers more information on credit markets, then it should simply give farmers more information about credit markets.

This legislation creates an unnecessary new credit certification bureaucracy in the Department of Agriculture. Like any bureaucracy, this new department will find ways to expand its remit, to increase regulation of environmental credit markets, all in the name of helping farmers. Credit trading markets and programs already exist and operate well, federal involvement is entirely unnecessary. The Lee amendment effectively addresses this problem by converting the heavy-handed certification provisions into the sort of information sharing process for farmers that the legislation’s proponents claim is their goal.

The AEA urges all members to support free markets by voting YES on the Lee amendment to S. 1251. Should the LEE amendment not be adopted, AEA urges all Senators to vote NO on the final passage. AEA will include these votes in its American Energy Scorecard.

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