Ag Today August 29, 2018
California lawmakers finalize details of a $1-billion wildfire prevention plan, but tough votes lie ahead [Los Angeles Times]
A bipartisan group of California lawmakers proposed on Tuesday to spend $1 billion to clear fire-prone trees and brush from across the state over the next five years while providing new relief for utility companies that have said wildfire costs could lead them to bankruptcy. But critics maintained provisions in the bill offer little protection to utility customers from footing the bill, even when the companies are found at fault for some amount of a fire’s origins….The two houses of the Legislature must...
Ag Today August 28, 2018
Trump Hails U.S.-Mexico Trade Pact, Says ‘We’ll See’ With Canada
By Jacob M. Schlesinger and Josh Zumbrun in Washington and Robbie Whelan in Mexico City
Updated Aug. 28, 2018 - The Wall Street Journal
President Trump moved closer to revising the North American Free Trade Agreement by striking a deal with Mexico, but cast new doubts over the quarter-century-old pact by threatening to leave out Canada.
While the deal was created to foster harmonized rules across the continent, Mr. Trump said on Monday he was happy to sever Washington’s northern neighbor from that bloc if necessary. He proposed to rename the pact “the United...
Ag Today August 27, 2018
Trump Strikes Nafta Deal With Mexico and Threatens to Freeze Out Canada
By Ana Swanson, Katie Rogers and Alan Rappeport, The New York Times
Aug. 27, 2018
WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday said the United States and Mexico had reached agreement to revise key portions of the North American Free Trade Agreement and would finalize it within days, suggesting he was ready to jettison Canada from the trilateral trade pact if the country did not get on board quickly.
Speaking from the Oval Office on Monday, Mr. Trump touted the preliminary agreement with Mexico as a new trade pact that could replace Nafta...
Ag Today August 24, 2018
Jolting California officials, Trump administration looks to rewrite rules for Delta water
BY DALE KASLER, The Sacramento Bee
August 23, 2018 12:17 PM
The Trump administration is trying a bold new tactic to bring more water to Central Valley farmers — one that could come at the expense of millions of urban Southern Californians.
In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation served notice to California officials Aug. 17, stating it wants to renegotiate a landmark 1986 agreement governing the big federal and state water projects and how they pump water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to their member agencies in southern half...
Ag Today August 23, 2018
Water hearings, sometimes contentious, end with hope for agreement between farms, fish
BY KEN CARLSON, The Modesto Bee
August 22, 2018 05:20 PM
Two days of hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board created some hope of voluntary agreements with local irrigation districts, which are under pressure to release more water in rivers to help salmon.
Tuesday and Wednesday, the state board heard heartfelt comments from people concerned about collapsing fish populations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and fears about job losses and economic calamity in the Northern San Joaquin Valley if water rights are stripped from communities.
One speaker said the board’s proposal...
Ag Today August 22, 2018
Two Republicans want to be called farmers on the ballot. Democrats say they’re not
BY KATE IRBY AND EMILY CADEI, The Sacramento Bee
August 21, 2018 10:51 AM
Reps. Jeff Denham and Devin Nunes say they’re farmers, and that’s how they’re going to be described on this fall’s California election ballots.
But are they farmers?
Democrats say no, and they’re trying to stop them from labeling themselves that way. The party is mounting legal challenges to California Republicans in the San Joaquin Valley over their using the word “farmer.”
Farmer is a popular ballot description among those representing the San Joaquin Valley, used by Denham, Nunes,...
Ag Today August 21, 2018
Water plan will ‘decimate’ economy; hundreds converge at Capitol for protest
BY KEN CARLSON, The Modesto Bee
August 20, 2018 04:36 PM
A boisterous rally Monday sent a message to the state to keep its hands off the water rights of communities in the Central Valley and reconsider a new water allocation plan that won’t be effective in restoring salmon in rivers.
About 1,500 attended the gathering outside the state Capitol Building organized by leaders from Stanislaus and Merced counties. People held signs and chanted “stop the water grab” in an outpouring of passion against an appointed state water board that proposes to take...
Ag today August 20, 2018
U.S. Drops Agriculture Demand From NAFTA Talks: Mexico Farm Lobby
Aug. 19, 2018
MEXICO CITY — The United States has dropped a contentious demand from the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement to impose restrictions on Mexican agricultural exports, Mexico's top farm lobby said on Sunday.
Talks to rework the 24-year-old pact are entering a crucial phase and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said outstanding bilateral issues between Mexico and the United States could be resolved by the middle of this week.
Much of the renegotiation, which has gone on for more than a year, has focused on revamping rules for...
Ag Today August 17, 2018
Tax on California water revived to clean up drinking water – but it’s voluntary
BY TARYN LUNA, The Sacramento Bee
Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are rebooting an effort to pass a new tax to attack unsafe drinking water in California.
But there’s a twist: The proposed tax on water bills would be voluntary, increasing its chances of success among skittish lawmakers in an election year.
After calling off a plan in June to apply a mandatory tax on water bills, the governor is backing a new pair of bills that would apply a voluntary levy on ratepayers to fund safe drinking water...
Ag Today August 16, 2018
‘No one wins in a trade war.’ Ag advocates urge Trump to end tariffs standoff
BY ROBERT RODRIGUEZ, The Fresno Bee
August 15, 2018 05:12 PM
Agricultural advocates in California are ratcheting up the pressure on the White House as a months-long trade dispute threatens to cost the industry billions of dollars and potentially put farmers out of business.
A group including Brian Kuehl, executive director of Farmers for Free Trade, a non-profit group, and Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, gathered at the Fresno County Farm Bureau office on Wednesday to push for a resolution to the trade war that has pitted the U.S. against...