FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(May 21, 2015)
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (May 21, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) today announced its opposition to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last night – noting that the act cuts important funding for climate and renewable energy research – and urged the Senate to reinstate these funds in order to keep the U.S. moving toward climate resilience.
“America’s family farmers and ranchers are already enduring the effects of climate change,” NFU President Roger Johnson said. “Our ability to effectively combat this threat depends on adequately funded research on renewable energy and energy efficiency to curb carbon emissions, and on the climate change impacts that cannot be avoided, offering family farmers the information they need to adjust accordingly. NFU opposes the House reauthorization act and urges the Senate to reinstate important funds for energy and climate research.”
Johnson noted that cutting funding for energy research poses a great threat to U.S. goals of decreasing energy dependence and mitigating the effects of climate change.
“The U.S. must work quickly and decisively toward understanding and mitigating the threat of climate change if we hope to avoid significant disruptions to the food supply and the economy at large,” said Johnson. “The development of renewable sources of energy must be our number one priority in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and stable funding for energy research is essential to that goal.”
Johnson noted that a bipartisan group of seven senators has introduced America COMPETES legislation in the U.S. Senate that steadily increases energy research through 2020, but does not address climate research. “We appreciate Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Chris Coons’, D-Delaware, support for energy research and hope the Senate will move to protect climate research that is not currently addressed in their legislation,” 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.