Feb. 23, 2015

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (Feb. 23, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today submitted comments today highlighting why the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) efforts to mitigate and learn more about climate change are important to America’s family farmers and ranchers.

“Family farmers and ranchers across the U.S. are already feeling the impact of increasing weather volatility,” noted Johnson in the comments submitted to the CEQ on the Revised Draft Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews. “A compilation of the economic impact of extreme events with an economic impact in excess of $1 billion shows an increase in this extent of economic damage over the last 30 years,” he said.

Johnson noted that family farmers are good stewards and seek opportunities to work to mitigate climate change, as demonstrated by NFU’s policies supporting acknowledgment of carbon sequestration and emission reductions through agricultural practices, biofuels and renewable energy. “The CEQ revised draft guidance will encourage assessment and discussion on GHG emissions, potentially leading to decisions that will mitigate climate change or increase climate resilience.”

Johnson commended CEQ for assisting agencies in making decisions when considering climate change implications, and contributing to cost-effectiveness and efficiency in government.

“Offering agencies guidance on when and how to consider the climate change implications of their actions makes it easier for them to make such assessments, increasing the likelihood of agencies carrying out these assessments,” said Johnson. “The guidance is also likely to increase cost-effectiveness and efficiency in the federal government by instructing them to consider what impact climate change might have on agency actions, helping to avoid projects that might become prohibitively expensive or obsolete as weather patterns change.”

Johnson noted that any GHG emission reductions the guidance fosters could contribute to climate change mitigation, reducing some of the hazards climate change poses to agriculture. “Any reduction in GHG emissions as a product of the guidance could assist family farmers and ranchers in the fight against climate change.

“Family agriculture in the U.S. has much to offer in the fight against climate change, but our farmers and ranchers need policy support from the federal government in order to make their best contributions. NFU stands ready to offer any support and assistance CEQ may find helpful on this or related matters,” he said.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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