The timing of this seems awfully suspect considering the State Department’s Keystone report released last friday that enraged his liberal base.
WASHINGTON — On the heels of the Senate’s passage of a long-awaited farm bill, the Obama administration is to announce on Wednesday the creation of seven regional “climate hubs” aimed at helping farmers and rural communities respond to the risks of climate change, including drought, invasive pests, fires and floods.
White House officials describe the move as one of several executive actions that President Obama will take on climate change without action from Congress.
In substance, the creation of the climate hubs is a limited step, but it is part of a broader campaign by the administration to advance climate policy wherever possible with executive authority. The action is also part of a push to build political support for the administration’s more divisive moves on climate change – in particular, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on coal-fired power plants.
Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture and a former Iowa governor, is to announce the creation of the climate hubs at a White House briefing.
“For generations, America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges,” Mr. Vilsack is to say, according to prepared remarks. “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.”
The hubs will be located in Ames, Iowa; Durham, N.H.; Raleigh, N.C.; Fort Collins, Colo.; El Reno, Okla.; Corvallis, Ore.; Las Cruces, N.M.; and Davis, Calif.