For Immediate Release


Ben Lilliston, (612) 870-3416,

Agriculture and Rural Groups Defend EPA’s Ability to Protect Climate, Public Health

Over 25 groups urge Senate action on climate to protect farmers’ livelihoods

25 organizations representing agriculture organizations and rural communities
sent a letter to
the Senate yesterday, urging Senators to reject attempts to undermine the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s ability to enforce the Clean Air

The letter is in response to Senate Joint Resolution No. 26,
an attempt led by Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski to block EPA efforts to
regulate greenhouse gases to protect public health under the Clean Air Act. The
groups stated that comprehensive legislation to address climate change is
ultimately the best approach. Climate legislation has stalled in the Senate,
but the lack of legislative progress should not "preclude the EPA from
effectively enforcing the Clean Air Act," the letter said.

"Agriculture and rural communities are particularly
vulnerable to the effects of climate change," said Jim Kleinschmit of the
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. "From droughts to floods to
temperature extremes, climate change puts farmers' livelihoods at risk
and threatens the security of our nation's food supply."

The EPA has stated that it will tailor new greenhouse gas
emission rules to target large emitters, and exempt small carbon emitters. This
approach would exclude most farms and ranches, while holding accountable large
emitters who have long been subject to EPA standards for other forms of

"Support for Senator's Murkowski's
resolution to block EPA regulation of greenhouse gases would be a vote against
the health and security of our nation's farms and of the livelihoods of
our farmers," the letter said. "Fears that farmers and ranchers
would be unduly burdened by these regulations appear to not only be
short-sighted, but incorrect."

You can read the full letter here.

Signatories of the letter include: Institute for Agriculture
and Trade Policy, Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, Appalachian
Sustainable Development, Beyond Pesticides, California Certified Organic
Farmers, California Climate and Agriculture Network, Center for Rural Affairs,
Family Farm Defenders, Food and Water Watch, Iowa Environmental Council, Island
Grown Initiative, Kansas Rural Center, League of Rural Voters, Michael Fields
Agricultural Institute, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service,
National Organic Coalition, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition,
Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, Nebraska Wildlife Federation,
Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council, Organic Valley,
Pesticide Action Network North America, Rodale Institute, Rural Advantage, Slow
Food USA and The Organic Center.


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