USDA Officials Buried Climate Change Response Plan

A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee told Politico that during the early days of the Trump Administration the department quashed the release of a sweeping plan on how to respond to climate change. The multi-year plan was drafted by several USDA agencies to help the agricultural industry understand, adapt to, and mitigate the effects of climate change. Following the plan’s completion USDA officials told staff members to keep it for internal use only, despite the fact that it was an update to a 2010 plan that was released publicly during the Obama administration.

Sources told Politico that the plan went through an internal clearance process before senior officials blocked its release. The 33-page plan set goals for addressing a wide range of climate change effects. It acknowledged that climate change is already affecting farmers and ranchers and suggested that farmers could make money by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adopting practices that promote carbon sequestration. A spokesperson for the USDA declined to answer questions about the plan but stated that the USDA did not have a policy in place to discourage dissemination of climate science.