WASHINGTON (Aug. 27, 2009) – National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson today reiterated the organization’s call for Congress to approve climate change legislation rather than allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

“As Congress nears the end of its August recess, lawmakers must return to Washington prepared to approve comprehensive energy and climate change legislation,” Johnson said. “NFU believes a legislative solution is a far better solution to addressing climate change than a pure regulatory approach from EPA.”

In the coming weeks, EPA is poised to determine greenhouse gases to be a threat to public health and thereby potentially trigger its regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act. The Obama Administration has been steadfast in calling upon Congress to address greenhouse gas emissions, rather than EPA.

Economic analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), demonstrates a significant economic benefit for farmers and ranchers via climate change legislation’s offset opportunities. Annual net returns to farmers range from approximately $1 billion per year in 2015-2020 to nearly $15-$20 billion in 2040-2050. These economic opportunities would not exist under a purely regulatory scheme.

“NFU’s members crafted our policy which supports a national mandatory cap and trade system to reduce non-farm greenhouse gas emissions,” Johnson said. “We will continue to work constructively with Congress to ensure climate change legislation works toward the best interests of rural America.”