Ag Today

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Ag Today January 23, 2020

California will be hit hard as Trump administration weakens clean water protections [Los Angeles Times] Defying environmentalists and public health advocates, the Trump administration on Thursday will announce the replacement of Obama-era water protections with a significantly weaker set of regulations that lifts limits on how much pollution can be dumped into small streams and wetlands. The changes to the Clean Water Act’s protections are expected to hit California and other Western states especially hard….In California, two out of three of the state’s freshwater streams could lose federal protection. Yet the state is better positioned than others to weather the changes....

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Ag Today January 22, 2020

Newsom wades into decades-long bid to wring more water for California [Courthouse News Service] …With a year’s experience under his belt, Newsom is making his next move with a recently released game plan his administration claims will protect the state’s most precious commodity from climate change. The water portfolio lists over 100 actions and while many are forward-thinking and do things like improve drinking water quality, boost efficiency in urban and agricultural water use and favor voluntary water agreements instead of state mandates, it also endorses billion-dollar projects that flopped under past governors. The first draft was well received by farmers,...

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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...

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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. https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/2020/01/16/more-good-news-growers-senate-passes-bipartisan-trade-deal-mexico-canada/4492227002/   ‘The dam must...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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. https://www.modbee.com/news/local/article238923078.html   Newsom wants an extra $220 million for Salton...

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