Letter: Wind power can help all sides

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, January 27, 2021

It’s good to know that Xcel Energy and landowners in Mower County are working together well to help create a clean energy future (Partnerships Can Continue Growth). Wind power will play a big role in achieving this while boosting local economies.

However, landowners who are farmers have another major role to play in the effort to stop climate change – regenerating the soil to restore its natural ability to sequester carbon.

Healthy soil can hold more organic carbon than the air and water combined. Yet worldwide we are losing it at an alarming rate due to conventional farming practices and erosion. Thirty-three percent of Earth’s original soil is moderately to highly degraded -— infertile and unable to store carbon. The UN estimates that there are only 60 harvests left if nothing is done to rescue the soil.

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The U.S. congress is poised to address this serious issue with the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act (HR7393 and S3894). The GCSA offers farmers financial incentives via carbon markets to implement sustainable practices that will improve soil health and crop production while reducing input costs.

Climate change causes weather-related extremes that uniquely affect farmers. And farmers are uniquely positioned to help stop it. They are the climate crisis front line workers. I urge Rep. Hagedorn and Sens. Klobuchar and Smith to support this bill.

Laurel Regan

Rochester, MN