Okay, the long anticipated new climate change Senate bill authored by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) was finally unveiled. The American Power Act at first glance does appear to be an improvement over the House bill (Waxman-Markey) in that there appears to be added certainty on offsets. Kerry and Lieberman tout the bill as a jobs bill and a step toward achieve energy security, while reducing carbon pollution by 17 percent in 2020 and by over 80 percent in 2050. Unlike W-M, the Kerry-Lieberman bill enumerates a specific and lengthy list of eligible offset categories. K-L also addresses offset regulation in a way that weaves together both EPA regulatory and USDA oversight responsibilities, ultimately, in a step likely to annoy both the agriculture and environment community, requiring consultations between the two in most cases for offset designation and removal. As expected, and basically mandated by farming groups and their congressional champions, the USDA is given the primary role over agricultural and forest offset approval, while the EPA has a similar role over other offsets. Time will tell whether this complicated approach in which USDA may be required to take on the unsavory role of a regulatory agency is workable. My guess is that it will not work as proposed. On the bright side is the provision making environmental consideration of offsets is still in place for sequestration projects, especially to protect habitat and native species. In general environmental considerations may even be stronger then W-M.
JACOR, LLC Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Third-party verification for a product`s biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and most recently expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill). One of the goals of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the development, purchase and use of biobased products. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label displays a product`s biobased content, which is the portion of a product that comes from a renewable source, such as plant, animal, marine, or...
USDA Invests $2.5 Billion in Rural Electric Infrastructure
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that USDA is investing $2.5 billion in rural electric infrastructure improvements to help create jobs and support economic development in 27 states. “These significant investments will help develop and maintain modern, reliable electric infrastructure that businesses and rural communities need in a 21st Century economy,” Perdue said. “The loans I am announcing today will help utilities and cooperatives build new transmission and distribution...
Cattlemen Praise Confirmation of Gov. Perdue for USDA Secretary
Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, today praised the Senate confirmation of former Gov. Sonny Perdue to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture:“Decisions made every day at the USDA have a significant impact on our ability to run our operations. We are excited to have a Secretary that comes from the industry, understands the complexities of our business, and is willing to stand up and fight for the hard-working men and women in rural America. We are looking forward to...
Cotton and Peanut Plantings Jump Above Expectations
Implications While growers intend to substantially increase acreage of cotton and peanuts this year uncertainty remains. For cotton, the pace of plantings, crop conditions, the pace of exports, and global (i.e. China) inventory levels are key fundamentals to monitor. For peanuts, higher acreage does not mean substantially higher production as crop yields and acreage abandonment may reduce the crop size. Managing risk is key. For peanuts, price risk is managed through the 2014 Farm Bill’s Price Loss...
NCC Ready to work with new Agriculture Secretary
The National Cotton Council congratulates former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue on his nomination for Secretary of Agriculture."Our industry looks forward to working with Governor Perdue as he leads USDA to help ensure a strong and viable agricultural and rural economy, including important actions necessary for the stabilization of the U.S. cotton industry," NCC Chairman Shane Stephens said. "It is encouraging to see a Secretary of Agriculture nominee with a strong production agriculture and agribusiness background...