A Senate committee debated a bill Tuesday that would set goals for carbon sequestration for natural and working lands.

Sen. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley said her measure would support farmers by setting up the protocols needed to participate in private carbon markets. It would be voluntary and not count agriculture within the state’s cap-and-trade market, since those emissions are not tracked in the inventory.

Skinner said she could have written it in a way “that would force, for example, various of the entities to have to participate” and be eligible for official state carbon offsets.

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“But that is not what I've done,” she said. “You can view this as baby steps.”

The California Farm Bureau was concerned the goals would be developed with “an expedited and unreasonable timeline” that would make them impractical. Setting goals without stakeholder engagement would also conflict with the governor’s conservation order, according to the bureau.