Washington Agriculture and land conservation can help slow global warming, Sen. Sam Brownback said Tuesday as he promoted tax breaks for businesses that invest in anti-pollution efforts.
The Kansas Republican senator wants to encourage farming practices and other land uses that trap carbon dioxide in the soil. This "carbon sequestration," some scientists argue, could help contain worldwide warming trends caused by the release of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.
Debate rages over increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, Brownback said, but there is "broad consensus" about its harmful effects on the environment.
"This is a no-regrets policy, a voluntary and market-driven mechanism," Brownback said.
Even those who dispute the idea of global warming should like his ideas, he said: "We're restoring rainforests, and that I think everybody would agree is good."
Under legislation introduced Tuesday, tax credits would be available to U.S. businesses that invest in carbon-storing projects in developing countries.
Brownback promoted the idea at a news conference where poster-sized rainforest photographs were displayed. He pointed to an image of water buffaloes grazing on logged forest land in Brazil. "So this land," he said, moving left to an image of steamy green rain forest, "will look like, in the future, this land."