A group of 27 House Republicans is calling on President Joe Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to disavow recent comments made by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry targeting food emissions.
Led by Rep. Mark Alford, R–Mo., the Republicans are asking the Biden administration to “recognize the responsible efforts agriculture producers make every day to feed, clothe and fuel the world.”
“American farmers and ranchers are the lifeblood to our food security, and a nation that cannot feed itself would not be a nation at all,” they said in a letter released Monday.
The GOP’s response was in reference to Kerry’s remarks made during the AIM For Climate Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier in May. The special presidential envoy lamented the “large carbon footprint” made by the agriculture industry and called for “innovation” in order to reach the goal of a “net–zero” energy future without compromising global malnutrition levels.
“We are appalled by the comments made by [Kerry] and ask that your administration recognize the responsible efforts agriculture producers make every day to feed, clothe and fuel the world,” the letter reads.
However, “John Kerry’s alarmist narrative does not tell the full story of American agriculture,” according to the Republican lawmakers. They noted that the global agriculture industry accounts for 22 percent of global GHG emissions but in the United States, “it generates about 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions.”
Furthermore, the GOP representatives argued that the United States has implemented a wide range of solutions as part of climate–friendly initiatives, such as land management practices that remove 764 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“Since assuming his post as ‘climate czar’, John Kerry has done nothing but fly his private jets around the world and preach his radical gospel for the climate cult,” Alford said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “His latest remarks about America’s agriculture industry paints a widely inaccurate picture.”
Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R–Calif., also a signer of the letter, said: “If Climate Czar Kerry ever spent a day with the real stewards of the land instead of flying around the world on his private jet, he’d have known that already.”
The signers are also calling for the defunding of Kerry’s office, which has an estimated annual budget of $13.9 million. Rep. Mary Miller, R–Ill., said that the Biden administration’s “assault on farmers” is “unacceptable.”
“It is my hope that President Biden condemns Kerry’s remarks,” De La Cruz, R–Texas, stated. “Anything short is unacceptable.”
It is unclear whether President Biden or Secretary Vilsack will answer the call. As of now, neither the White House nor the Department of Agriculture has issued a response.
Whether or not the Biden administration responds to the Republicans‘ letter, it is clear that tensions between the two parties have been escalating over the issue of food emissions.