Carbon Sequestration Certification Program
Government Accountability Office (GAO) Releases Report - Climate Change Issues: Options for Addressing Challenges to Carbon Offset Quality
17 Jun 2011
This GAO report provides information on key challenges in assessing the quality of different types of offsets and options for addressing key challenges associated with offset quality. GAO reviewed relevant literature and interviewed selected experts and stakeholders such as project developers, verifiers, and program officials.
To view the report, visit: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-345.
American Society of Agronomy (ASA) Releases Climate Change Policy Statement
16 Jun 2011
ASA, along with the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), have developed a position statement on climate change based on a review of current scientific knowledge and understanding. Because the potential changes in climate are significant for the practice of agriculture and land management, ASA, CSSA, and SSSA issue this statement to describe the state of the science and facilitate ongoing discussion, decision-making, and research. The statement expresses the findings of a panel of scientists with national and international expertise in climate processes and impacts, mitigation strategies, and adaptation methods for natural and managed ecosystems.
To view the statement, visit: https://www.agronomy.org/files/science-policy/asa-cssa-sssa-climate-change-policy-statement.pdf.
EPA Finalizes Carbon Capture and Sequestration Rules
03 Dec 2010
On November 22, 2010, EPA finalized two rules related to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). The rules are designed to protect drinking water and to track the amount of carbon dioxide that is sequestered geologically. The drinking water protection rule requires the development of a new class of injection well called Class VI. EPA also finalized a rule that requires facilities that carry out geologic sequestration to report the amount of greenhouse gases captured and stored under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.
Learn more at: http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/wells_sequestration.cfm
Partnership to Reduce the Environmental Footprint of Sooner State Visitors
16 Sept 2010
Oklahoma City - People coming to visit Oklahoma will soon have a method to lower the environmental footprint of their trip while promoting natural resource conservation through a new initiative announced today by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) and the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD).
"We are extremely excited about this new partnership with Tourism," said Sarah Pope, Director of OACD's Carbon Initiative. "By working together we can help folks offset their carbon emissions and other environmental impacts produced from traveling by offering them credits generated by conservation practices that sequester carbon while protecting our soil, water, air and wildlife habitats. This is a great program and a big win for the environment."
Under the terms of the agreement, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department will sell an ECOpass through the webstore on www.TravelOK.com.
The ECOpass is available in $5, $15, and $30 denominations which equates to different levels of carbon credits that are created by practices such as no-till farming and strip-till farming, grass plantings, tree plantings and improved pasture management. All of these practices are encouraged by the Conservation Districts of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to reduce non-point source pollution in water, conserve soil, improve wildlife habitat and sequester carbon.
Research shows that these improvements to the land can store or 'sequester' anywhere from .5 to 1.2 metric tons of carbon in soil per acre, per year, helping reduce overall carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere while addressing other natural resource concerns. Landowners who undertake these practices have the ability to sell these carbon credits through the OACD Oklahoma Carbon Initiative with verification provide by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission Carbon Program. This new partnership between OTRD and OACD will allow those coming to Oklahoma who wish to reduce their environmental impact to purchase these credits.
"The Tourism Department works to offer more sustainable choices for visitors traveling in and to Oklahoma," said Hardy Watkins, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. "The ECOpass is a meaningful way to both reduce a traveler's environmental impact while also benefitting Oklahoma farmers and ranchers who are implementing sustainable practices."
OACD President Trey Lam said that this partnership is another way conservation districts and the Oklahoma Conservation Partnership are helping landowners conserve the state's Natural Resources.
"This new initiative with Tourism is a great way to promote conservation of our natural resources, reward good stewardship of the land and highlight the good work that is going on in Oklahoma," Lam said. "By facilitating the sale of these credits to folks who are coming to Oklahoma we are helping promote sustainable tourism while showcasing the ongoing efforts to protect our environment. This is a great program that helps showcase Oklahoma nationally and puts dollars in the pocket of those folks going the extra mile to protect our natural resources. This is a great program and we are excited to be a part of it."
For more information:
Clay Pope, Executive Director, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts: (405) 699-2087 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Vidrine, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Dept. Lindsay@TravelOK.com or (405)-230-8414
Oklahoma Conservation Commission Selected for USDA Grant Funds
14 Aug 2010
The Oklahoma Conservation Commission has been selected to receive funding from the USDA-NRCS 2010 Conservation Innovation Grant. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Thursday, August 12. The Natural Resources Conservation Service received 230 proposals and is awarding nearly 18-million dollars in Conservation Innovation Grants for 61 projects in 43 states and U.S. territories. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission received $303,592 to develop high quality carbon offset verification protocols and quantify water quality improvements of best management practices to ensure the environmental benefits of agricultural carbon offsets. A multi-state grant that also includes Oklahoma was awarded to the Environmental Defense Fund to work on the development of protocols and accounting methods for carbon sequestration on U.S. rangelands.
Oklahoma Carbon Program Approves First Aggregator
8 July 2010
(Oklahoma City, OK – July 7, 2010) - SunOne Solutions, the nation’s largest private developer of agriculture carbon “offset” credit projects, announced today that they have become the first carbon aggregator to be approved by the State of Oklahoma’s Carbon Sequestration Certification Program.
The Oklahoma Carbon Sequestration Certification Program encourages Oklahoma farmers and ranchers to prevent soil erosion, protect water quality, and improve air quality by adopting conservation practices that sequester greenhouse gases. Oklahoma's voluntary carbon program is unique because it is the first to be run by a state agency with statutory authority to verify carbon offsets and provides a mechanism for Oklahomans to take advantage of existing voluntary carbon markets.
Stacy Hansen, the Director of the Oklahoma Carbon Program, stated that “the Oklahoma Conservation Commission is pleased to have SunOne Solutions as the first approved aggregator participating in the Oklahoma Carbon Program.” SunOne Solutions, which was recently ranked the #1 carbon aggregator in North America, already has over 2.5 million acres of clients nationwide, including some of the largest ranches in Oklahoma and Texas.
The company’s regional office, based in Austin TX, is led by James “Kimo” Storke, who has 20 years of energy business experience and 6 years of U.S. military experience. Storke and his team work with farmers and ranchers to help them earn carbon credits through their sustainable land management practices, such as rotational grazing, light and moderate stocking rates, and no-till farming. Farmers and ranchers who qualify for carbon offset credits may benefit financially by selling them on a variety of voluntary, state, and regional carbon markets. Under current systems, farmers and ranchers could make between $1-$3 per acre for sustainable managed farmland, forestland, and rangeland.
"We are proud to be the first carbon aggregator to be formally approved by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. We encourage Oklahoma farmers and ranchers to contact us to register their land for carbon credits so they can reap additional financial benefits of their sustainable land management," Storke said.
John Hodges, SunOne Solutions’ President, added that “SunOne Solutions is different from other carbon credit companies in that our partnering approach does not require farmers and ranchers to reach in their pocket and cover any project development expenses or take financial risks. Instead, SunOne Solutions covers these upfront costs and allows farmers and ranchers the opportunity to hold their carbon credits and sell them whenever they like market prices.”
Many elected officials and the nation’s largest oil and energy companies are pushing for a mandatory, federal system to reduce our dependence on carbon-based fossil fuels and foreign oil. Their goal is to transition our country to more sustainable, renewable sources of energy, which has become even more important given the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a law supporting carbon credits and the Senate is currently reviewing a similar proposal.
SunOne Solutions LLC is a leader in developing agricultural, land management, and environmental projects for registration and selling on carbon exchange markets. SunOne Solutions' primary focus is on carbon sequestration projects on farmland, forests, grassland, and rangeland in the United States with offices in Alabama, Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas. SunOne Solutions is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) and the California Climate Action Reserve (CCAR), which are North America’s major carbon offset registration systems. To date, SunOne Solutions has successfully developed over 200 projects on over 2.5 million acres of agricultural and forest land for over 3 million carbon credits. SunOne Solutions' team of professionals has several decades of combined experience in the agricultural, banking, finance, energy, environmental science, and public policy sectors. For more information, please see http://www.sunonesolutions.com.
Forestry Carbon Markets Workshop
9 April 2010
April 17 in Idabel at the Oklahoma Forest Resource Center from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Learn about Carbon Credit Alternatives for Forest Landowners & Fire Suppression and Prevention Activities on Oklahoma’s Forested Lands. Topics include the Oklahoma Carbon Program, current forestry carbon offset projects in SE Oklahoma, and the importance of forestry management plans. Sponsored by Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS), Oklahoma State University, and the Oklahoma Division Ouachita Society of American Foresters. Registration is $10 and lunch is provided. RSVP is requested. Visit the OFS website for details.
Climate and Loss Mitigation Conference
9 April 2010
May 4 in Norman at the National Weather Center from 9 am to 4pm
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. Cost is $20. Register by April 30. For more details visit the Oklahoma Insurance Department website.
Land Management 101
9 April 2010
June 8, 15, 22, 29 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the OSU Oklahoma County Extension Office (930 N. Portland, Oklahoma City)
This short course by OSU Extension will cover grazing management, wildlife management, timber management, and prescribed fire. These are all important land management tools, even for owners of smaller tracts of land. Longtime land managers as well as inexperienced landowners are welcome. The registration fee is $250, and the deadline to sign up is May 1. For more information, contact Dwayne Elmore at (405) 744-9636 or Dwayne.email@example.com.
Editor's Note: This course does not specifically address management for carbon sequestration, but there may be overlap. For example, grazing management is key to rangeland carbon sequestration and is required for carbon contracts.
Year 1 Verification Completed for Carbon Pilot Program
9 April 2010
In 2009, twenty-two producers in the North Canadian River Watershed Carbon Pilot Program sequestered 3,698 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) on 9,290 acres of no-till, grasslands, and riparian buffers. The practices were verified by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. Producers signed up for the EPA 319 Water Quality Project with eligible practices were eligible for carbon payments from Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), primary sponsor of the Pilot Program. The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts aggregated for WFEC. The Carbon Pilot Program is located in west central Oklahoma in the North Canadian River watershed between Canton Dam and Lake Overholser. Carbon credit payments bundled with cost-share payments for voluntary conservation practices reward Oklahoma agriculture producers for sequestering carbon while protecting water quality. The purpose of the Pilot Program was to test the Oklahoma Carbon Program model prior to launching the Program.
Oklahoma Carbon Program Accepting Applications
26 March 2010
The Oklahoma Carbon Program is accepting applications from aggregators and verifiers of Oklahoma agricultural and forestry carbon offsets. Oil and gas companies who want verification of downhole injection of carbon dioxide are also invited to apply. Applications and details are available on the Oklahoma Conservation Commission website.