Ag Today January 21, 2020
Hidden in China trade deal is a 'watershed moment' for California dairy [Sacramento Business Journal]
President Donald Trump signed an initial trade deal with China Wednesday, laying the groundwork to possibly de-escalate the trade war somewhere down the road. And while many of the details of the deal are murky, it contains one bright spot for Sacramento dairy farmers. The deal puts a pause on tariff increases, but doesn’t roll back any of the existing tariffs that have been piling up since 2018. China has also committed to buying $200 billion more in American goods, including $32 billion more in agriculture...
Ag Today January 17, 2020
More good news for growers: Senate passes bipartisan trade deal with Mexico, Canada [Visalia Times-Delta]
Tulare County growers are applauding the Senate's approval of a revamped trade agreement with Mexico and Canada that leaders say will benefit farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses throughout the Central Valley….It's a major rewrite of trade rules with the nation's neighbors and closest trading partners relating to agriculture, manufacturing and services….“Passage of the USMCA has been a top priority for Farm Bureau and other farm organizations, and we’re excited to have achieved the milestone of congressional passage,” said Jamie Johansson, California Farm Bureau president.
‘The dam must...
Ag Today January 16, 2020
Senate oks North American trade deal to replace NAFTA, giving Trump a much-needed win [NPR ]
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a revised North American trade pact in a rare bipartisan vote Thursday that hands President Trump a victory on a key campaign promise just as lawmakers are preparing his impeachment trial. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, passed by a vote of 89-10, with all but a handful of Democrats and one Republican senator supporting it….With a renegotiated trade pact with Mexico and Canada and the signing on Wednesday of an initial trade deal with China aimed at winding down a long...
Ag Today January 14, 2020
Who killed the wolf? The mysterious death of OR-59 [Bay Area News Group]
More than a year after a young wolf was shot and killed on a cold winter day in a wild and windswept corner of California, its death remains unsolved….Frustrated by vigilante justice, federal authorities and wolf advocates have raised the reward for any tips leading to an arrest in the December 2018 killing of an endangered species that is both revered and reviled….Its death signifies the deep and growing conflict between wildlife advocates and the state’s ranchers, disheartened by legal and livestock losses….Meanwhile, ranchers who live in wolf...
Ag Today January 13, 2020
As White House plans U.S.-China Phase 1 ceremony, still no final deal text [Reuters]
The Trump administration has invited at least 200 people to a Jan. 15 ceremony to witness the signing of the Phase 1 trade deal between the United States and China, but the two nations have not yet finalized what, exactly, will be signed, White House officials said on Friday….Top officials from Beijing and U.S. lawmakers from states affected by the 18-month trade war are expected to attend the signing in the White House’s East Room, between President Donald Trump and China’s vice premier Liu He, according to...
Ag Today January 10, 2020
California has protections against Trump rollback of environmental rules [San Francisco Chronicle]
The Trump administration’s sweeping plan to ease environmental review of highways, power plants and other big projects may be less consequential in California, where state law puts checks on new development….California has its own requirements for new projects….CEQA, however, doesn’t cover projects on federal land. If Trump’s rollbacks take effect, state law would still govern most highway, port and pipeline work, which inevitably crosses state and private lands, but it wouldn’t regulate such projects as timber production and mineral extraction on holdings of the U.S. Forest Service, National Park...
Ag Today January 9, 2020
Trump wants to exempt some pipelines, highways from environmental review; climate activists alarmed [Los Angeles Times]
The White House on Thursday is expected to unveil a proposed revision of the federal environmental review process, a move that would fast-track the construction of some infrastructure projects, including pipelines, highways and airports. The change would apply to the National Environmental Policy Act, which was enacted in 1970 under the Nixon administration. A spokesman for the Council on Environmental Quality, which was established under the White House to carry out the law, said in a statement Thursday that “NEPA regulations have not been comprehensively...
Ag Today January 8, 2020
Judge: MID overcharged 122,000 electric customers to help farmers. What happens next? [Modesto Bee]
A judge has ruled in favor of two Modesto Irrigation District customers who allege the utility has overcharged its electric customers to provide a subsidy to its farm water prices….Beauchesne ruled the subsidy was an illegal tax under California law because the MID had not sought voter approval for electric customers to subsidize irrigation water customers. The second phase will consider the remedy, which could include the MID reimbursing its electricity customers for some of the years they were overcharged.
Newsom wants an extra $220 million for Salton...
Ag Today January 7, 2020
2 bills could decide fate of critical Friant-Kern Canal in 2020. Will reps outside Valley care? [Visalia Times-Delta]
A duo of bills, at the state and federal level, will likely determine the fate of the Friant-Kern Canal in a legislative year that is shaping up to be pivotal for Central Valley growers and ag communities....The repairs are crucial as the implementation of the Groundwater Management and Sustainability Act begins this year, meaning farmers will have to be increasingly reliant upon surface water provided by the Friant-Kern with new restrictions to be placed on groundwater pumping in times of water scarcity. How...
Ag Today January 6, 2020
California eyes climate bond to prepare for disasters [Associated Press]
In a state burdened by billions of dollars in wildfire damage, California lawmakers are hoping for an advance loan before the next climate-fueled catastrophe hits. Lawmakers in the Democratic-dominated state Legislature return to work Monday for the second year of a two-year session. Their to-do list includes a $4.2 billion climate bond, an ambitious proposal to borrow money before they need it to prepare for the types of natural disasters that have plagued the state….The borrowing proposal is one of dozens of holdover bills from last year that are still alive...