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Policy: Environment & Energy

Obama administration creates 'climate hubs' to combat extreme weather

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,Agriculture,Climate Change,PennAve,Economy,Energy and Environment,Global Warming,Tom Vilsack

Administration officials Wednesday will announce another executive action to implement President Obama's State of the Union agenda, unveiling the creation of regional “climate hubs” to help agriculture workers respond to severe weather conditions.

“On the heels of passage of the farm bill, the administration will take executive action to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities combat climate change and adapt to extreme weather and other damage it causes,” a White House official said.

“In his State of the Union, the president pledged to continue working with Congress and taking action on his own to deal with the effects of climate change,” the official added.

Obama has already made climate change a centerpiece of his executive agenda, bypassing Congress to develop stricter regulations on carbon emissions from power plants. Such action stoked GOP charges of executive overreach, a theme conservatives have picked up again in the wake of a series of new directives from the White House in recent days.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday will tout the centers as a way to “address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods and crippling droughts on a regional basis.”

The initiative would help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners “adjust their resource method,” the White House official added.

The hubs will be located in Ames, Iowa; Durham, N.H.; Raleigh, N.C.; Fort Collins, Colo.; El Reno, Okla.; Corvallis, Ore.; and Las Cruces, N.M.

The administration did not provide information about funding for the program ahead of the announcement Wednesday.

Congress on Tuesday passed a long-term farm bill that costs $100 billion annually over five years -- lawmakers had been divided over how to address issues such as food stamp funding and other subsidies.

Obama will visit Michigan State University on Friday to speak about the importance of the farm bill to the U.S. economy and sign the legislation into law.

This story was first published at 12:08 a.m.

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