Oklahoma Policy Page

The Oklahoma Carbon Program (OCP)

Dates:

2001: Oklahoma Carbon Sequestration Enhancement Act passed 

2008: Pilot program, verifier training, and soil carbon sampling begins

2010: Program implemented 

Legislation:

Created by HB 1192 Oklahoma Carbon Sequestration Enhancement Act

Codified in Oklahoma Statute §27A-3-4-101 

Sponsor/s: 

Description:

The Oklahoma Carbon Program (OCP) was created as a result of HB 1192 to achieve the co-benefits of addressing soil health for water quality, air quality and erosion prevention while supporting the profitability of agricultural producers. The program is the result of a partnership with state and federal agencies, private companies, nonprofits, universities and conservation districts. The OCP has a number of programs under its umbrella including the carbon offset pilot project, the Soil Carbon Sampling Program, the Carbon Sequestration Certification Program, and the Verifier Training Program. 

The OCP pilot project began in 2008 to encourage best management practices, develop verification methods and test interest among landowners in carbon offsets. The pilot program was a partnership between the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACDs) and Oklahoma Western Farmers Electric Cooperative. The OACDs provided outreach, technical assistance, and administered the program. The Electric Co-op purchased carbon offsets from agricultural producers through three-year carbon contracts. Additional funding came from the Environmental Protection Agency 319 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Program.

The OCP Soil Carbon Sampling Program was designed to assess the sequestration potential of Oklahoma soils, collect baseline data of soil organic carbon, and create a standardized method to assess average sequestration rate for conservation projects. The sampling program is run by the Oklahoma State University

The Carbon Sequestration Certification Program offers fee-based verification of carbon offsets. In addition, the OCP created the Verifier Training Program to provide verifiers for the Carbon Program. The Verifier Training has four levels (trainee, apprentice, independent verifier, senior verifier/ trainers). The verification component is conducted by conservation districts with support and consultation from NRCS

Soil Health Definition:

From Oklahoma NRCS, “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans”

Stated Goals:

  • To provide financial opportunities to landowners by helping them participate in any future cap and trade or carbon offset market by allowing the Oklahoma Conservation Commission the authority to create and certify carbon offsets through soil organic carbon. 
  • To improve soil, water, and air quality by encouraging Oklahomans to voluntarily implement practices that sequester greenhouse gases.

Program Required Measurements:

  • Avoided loss of sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus from producer’s land 
  • Estimated metric tons of CO2-e sequestered

Tools & Guidance: 

Funding Source/s:

Funding Type/s:  

  • Voluntary Carbon Market 
  • Offset payment is at $3.50/ metric ton of CO2e. 

Practices eligible for funding: 

  • No-till
  • Marginal cropland to grass 
  • Riparian exclusion/buffer

Agencies Involved:

Rulemaking process:

State Universities & Researchers: 

Agricultural Organizations & Technical Assistance:

Education & Advocacy Groups

Lessons Learned:

Media:

Maps:


Questions?

Contact Oklahoma@healthysoilspolicy.org