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” to help farmers and rural communities respond to the risks of climate change, including drought, invasive pests, fires and floods. …
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.”
Well. The seven “hubs” and several “sub-hubs” are going to be set up at already-existing USDA facilities and it looks like this really only amounts to some flimsy administrative reshuffling with a nice alliterative name tacked on, but Obama has been talking a big game about all of the executive actions he’s going to implement to “act” on climate change wherever he can and where Congress won’t. The greens have been mighty upset with him lately about his “all of the above” energy platform and what looks like the pending inevitably (…maybe?) of the Keystone XL pipeline, and he has to do something to try and mitigate their complaints, I suppose. You might think that basically cutting the coal industry off at the knees via regulatory fiat would be enough… but it never is.