National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today expressed concern over the exclusion of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in President Obama’s formal submission of a plan to the United Nations to cut United States greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution. “The RFS offers America a cleaner, more environmentally friendly fuel sector with its support for biofuels,” said Johnson. “The president is ignoring agriculture’s great potential to help the country cut GHG emissions and mitigate climate change by excluding the RFS from his plan.”
Johnson noted that climate change poses a great risk to agriculture. Family farmers and ranchers are willing and able to help build climate resiliency.
“America’s family farmers and ranchers are already feeling the impact of increased weather volatility, resulting in fewer workable field days, increased potential for soil erosion, and increased crop insurance claims,” said Johnson. “The RFS provides these farmers and ranchers with a tool to help the country cut GHG emissions and mitigate the climate change that directly impacts their livelihoods.”
Johnson also noted that the president’s plan, in addition to excluding the RFS, did not include any other ways agriculture or rural communities can be involved in reducing GHG emissions.
“While GHG emissions from agriculture can not be regulated, voluntary conservation and production practices can cut GHG emissions and sequester carbon in working soils,” noted Johnson. “The president missed an important opportunity to provide for systems that reward farmers for mitigating the great threats posed by climate change.”