National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement today regarding the Obama administration’s release of the Clean Power Plan:
“Climate disruption, linked to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), poses severe threats to family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities across the country. These threats include extreme weather events, interference with access to water, heat stress on crops and livestock, and changing pest and disease pressures. These threats undermine the stability of the food supply and must be mitigated. NFU appreciates the administration’s work to address the causes of climate change.
“Unfortunately, the administration is missing an important opportunity to constructively engage family farmers in its efforts to build climate resiliency. Farmers can avoid GHG emissions and sequester carbon in the soil. Given the correct policy and financial incentives, farmers can mitigate climate change less expensively and more quickly than the rural power cooperatives that serve them. Instead, these cooperatives will have to raise rates to comply with today’s rule.
“The final rule does not allow states to comply by working with farmers to secure offsets for their emissions. NFU urges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to consider such offsets in state compliance plans due next summer. This would allow farmers to help cooperatives manage rates and provide value to farmers subject to rate increases. NFU stands ready to assist the administration in its efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.”