Climate talk - federalism committee

Russ Hendricks, director of governmental affairs for the Idaho Farm Bureau, speaks to a legislative committee about the trade association’s concerns with President Joe Biden’s climate goals.

Lobbyists from various Idaho industries, especially those tied to natural resources, on Thursday revealed concerns with President Joe Biden's proposals to tackle climate change, writes Idaho Press reporter Ryan Suppe. Those include reducing carbon emissions and conserving 30% of U.S. land and water resources, a noteworthy target in Idaho, where two-thirds of land is already owned by the federal government.

This year, Biden issued a series of executive orders laying out his climate goals and directing administration leaders to pursue them. On Thursday, the Idaho Legislature's interim Committee on Federalism hosted a discussion on the orders at the State Capitol in Boise. Political leaders of Idaho's farming, logging, banking and mining industries signaled to legislators their opposition to regulations that may come.

Among Biden's targets are energy decarbonization and a reduction in greenhouse gases to net-zero economy-wide emissions by mid-century or earlier.

Russ Hendricks, director of governmental affairs for the Idaho Farm Bureau, said, if climate regulations aren't "economically feasible," food security may decline, and small farmers will be hit hardest. Agriculture accounts for about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

"If regulations are what is required to get us where we think we need to go, that's going to increase costs," Hendricks said. "That's just a given, for both the producers and the consumers."

You can read Suppe's full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up toay's Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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