[Ok-sus] One of USDA's new 'Climate Hubs' coming to El Reno

Eric Pollard ewpollard at gmail.com
Wed Feb 5 15:59:22 UTC 2014

U.S. to launch 'climate hubs' to help farmers face climate change

By Jeff Mason<http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=jeff.mason&>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration will
announce on Wednesday the formation of seven "climate hubs" to help farmers
and rural communities adapt to extreme weather conditions and other effects
of climate change, a White House official said.

The hubs will act as information centers and aim to help farmers and
ranchers handle risks, including fires, pests, floods and droughts, that
are exacerbated by global warming.

The hubs will be located in Ames, Iowa; Durham, New Hampshire; Raleigh,
North Carolina; Fort Collins, Colorado; El Reno, Oklahoma; Corvallis,
Oregon; and Las Cruces, New Mexico, the official said.

Additional "sub hubs" will be set up in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; Davis,
California; and Houghton, Michigan.

The hubs are an example of executive actions Obama has promised to take to
fight climate change.

The president has made the issue a top priority for 2014 and has the
authority to take many measures that address it without congressional

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will make the announcement of the
"Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change" at a
White House briefing, the official said.

"For generations, America's farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have
innovated and adapted to challenges," Vilsack said in a statement.

"Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing
and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation's forests and our
farmers' bottom lines," he said.

Environmentalists want big economies such as the United States and China to
reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that
scientists blame for heating the planet, but they have urged policy makers
around the world to take action as well to help communities adapt to rising
temperatures now.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the effects of climate change have
led to a longer crop growing season in the Midwest, a fire season that is
60 days longer than it was three decades ago, and droughts that cost the
United States $50 billion from 2011-2013.

The Obama administration is expected to announce new rules later this year
limiting carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants, a major
polluter. The president is also under pressure from environmentalists to
reject the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport crude oil from
Canadian oil sands in Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Climate activists argue the project would exacerbate global warming because
of the carbon emissions involved in extracting the oil. Proponents say the
project would create jobs and boost U.S. energy security. A State
Department report released last week played down the project's impact on
climate change.

(Editing by Ken

Eric W. Pollard
C: (918) 290-9905
Twitter <https://twitter.com/#%21/ewpollard>
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