Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just in from Washington



House Plans Vote on One-year Farm Bill Extension
Washington--The House is planning to vote this week on a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill that will be combined with an extension of disaster aid for livestock producers. 

Although members of the House Agriculture Committee overall are reportedly resistant to the idea of a one-year extension, Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member on the committee, has said he would support it because it could be the catalyst for a House-Senate conference committee on a larger bill. 

Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Ag Committee, is in favor of the extension of the bill because it would provide certainty to livestock producers and address the drought that is affecting most of the U.S. Lucas is still pushing for consideration by the House of the farm bill approved by his committee in mid-July. A one-year extension of the current farm bill also has the support of Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

The text of the farm bill extension is posted to the House Rules Committee website. The legislation extends several programs that expired in 2011 including the Livestock Indemnity Payments; Livestock Forage Disaster Programs; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish; and the Tree Assistance Program. The bill calls for capping of payments on some environmental programs and a reduction in some direct payments to crop farmers.

Monday, July 30, 2012

President's Editorial



Expect Higher Food Prices this Fall
By Frank Priestley, Idaho Farm Bureau President

Over 1,300 counties in 26 states across the southern tier of the nation are now pegged as drought disaster areas with 75 percent of the U.S. corn and soybean crops affected.
Consumers should expect increasing food prices this fall led by meat and milk. Economists predict a three to five percent increase on most grocery items. Corn and soybeans are key feed components for most livestock. Although farmers planted record acreage this spring, corn harvest could be off by 30 percent or more. This will bring about higher feed prices and cause price increases in chicken and pork at the grocery store. Many beef producers who have lost pasture to drought and fire are expected to take calves to market earlier than normal. However, high feed prices take profit from the scenario for feedlot operators, which lends uncertainty to the cattle market. Liquidation of some herds is likely.

Hog herd liquidation is also likely and heat stress has caused milk production to drop 15 to 20 percent nationally. Butterfat content is reduced by heat stress causing expected price increases for cheese and many other dairy products.
Idaho has avoided the worst of it with only five counties earning disaster declarations to date. They include Oneida, Bear Lake, Teton, Blaine and Clark.  All of Utah and Nevada are experiencing severe drought while parts of Wyoming and Oregon are as well. In 1977, Idaho saw its worst drought year on record with nine counties declared as disaster areas. Wells in the Big and Little Wood River Basins went dry in April 1977 and many shallow wells in western Idaho dried up in June of that year.

The main reason Idaho has been able to withstand this drought is the state came into the irrigation season with carryover supplies in its reservoirs. Idaho has never had a catastrophic crop failure due to drought. That’s a rather amazing fact considering the biggest part of the state, where most of our crops are produced, is a desert. Dams that impound millions of acre feet of water provide Idaho the water it needs to support its economy.

However, we need not lose sight of the fact that without adequate winter snowpack, Idaho could be facing severe drought next spring. Demand on Idaho’s water supply continues to increase in direct correlation with population. Increasing demand for culinary water means decreasing supply for irrigation if storage remains static. It is a high priority for Idaho agriculture to increase water storage. We support increasing reservoir capacity, building new impoundments and especially increasing aquifer recharge efforts whenever excess water is available.

We understand there are environmental implications to building new dams and a major utility company in the state (Idaho Power) opposed Idaho’s last serious attempt at aquifer recharge because it would have channeled excess water into the aquifer rather than through the company’s turbines. This type of shortsighted policy making at the state level needs to be corrected in order for Idaho to make the most of its water storage capability and to ensure the sustainable growth of our cities and agricultural economy.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Just in


Farm Bureau Urges Passage of Red Tape Reduction Act

Washington-In a recent letter, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman urged House lawmakers to pass the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act (H.R. 4078), which is scheduled for House floor consideration this week.

“Farmers and ranchers are increasingly concerned about the impact of federal regulations on their operations and the meager environmental benefits many of these regulations would achieve,” Stallman wrote. “They are now facing the prospect of increased federal permit obligations—even when applying pesticides in full conformity with federal requirements.”


Thursday, July 26, 2012



AFBF: Report Shows Real Harm of Estate Taxes
 
WASHINGTON – The American Farm Bureau Federation said it concurs with a Joint Economic Committee report that details the financial harm posed by estate taxes on family businesses. The JEC, a bipartisan committee composed of members from the House and Senate, issued its report, “Costs and Consequences of the Federal Estate Tax,” earlier today.
 
According to the report, there are extensive costs associated with the estate tax in terms of the dissolution of family businesses, slower growth of capital stock and a loss of output and income over time. This can be particularly hard on farm families, who own 98 percent of the nation’s 2.2 million farms.
 
“With the average age of a farmer being 58 years old, the estate tax creates even a steeper barrier for young farmers and ranchers to take up the profession at a time when farming is already difficult to enter,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. 
 
The report also found that the estate tax impedes economic growth because it discourages savings and capital accumulation. Gaining access to capital is vital to farms and rural economies.  In 2010, land accounted for approximately 85 percent of total farm assets. Currently, in some parts of the country, land values have increased well over $10,000 per acre. Further, land values from 2010 to 2011 increased on average 25 percent and have greatly expanded the number of farms and ranches that now top the estate tax $5 million exemption. 
 
Especially holding true for farmers and ranchers, the report also found that the estate tax is a significant hindrance to entrepreneurial activity since many family businesses lack sufficient liquid assets to pay estate tax liabilities. In 2010, liquid assets in agriculture comprised only 12 percent of total assets whereas hard assets (including land and buildings) comprised 88 percent of total assets. Alone, real estate accounted for approximately 85 percent of farm assets in 2010.
 
“When estate taxes on an agricultural business exceed cash and other liquid assets, surviving family partners are forced to sell illiquid assets, such as land, buildings or equipment to keep their businesses operating,” said Stallman. “With 88 percent of farm and ranch assets illiquid, producers have few options when it comes to generating cash to pay the estate tax.”
 
AFBF supports permanent elimination of the estate tax. Until this can be accomplished, Farm Bureau supports extending the current $5 million exemption. Without congressional action, in 2013, the estate tax exemption will shrink to $1 million per person with no spousal transfer, and the top rate will increase to 55 percent, striking a blow to farmers and ranchers trying to transition from one generation to the next.
 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



Farm Groups Urge House to Preserve Family Farms

Washington--The American Farm Bureau Federation and a number of other farm groups today urged the House to vote yes for farm kids and farm families across America by supporting H.R. 4157, the Preserving America’s Family Farms Act. The House will debate and vote on the legislation later today.

In a letter to House members, the organizations said that while the safety of all workers remains their number one priority, regulations introduced last year by the Labor Department “took caution beyond recognition.”

According to the letter, “The proposed regulations were overly burdensome to agriculture producers and would have limited, if not eliminated, training opportunities for youth in rural America. Fortunately, the administration listened to the concerns of farmers and ranchers by withdrawing the regulation in April. However, the threat to family farms still exists.
“While we all respect the obligations and responsibilities of DOL to ensure the safety of youth working on farms, we believe that the approaches taken need to be well reasoned and not detrimental to the family farm or the youth participating in farm work,” continued the letter.  

H.R. 4157 would protect against these threats by preserving the ability of youth to gain training and education by working on the farm. It also protects an agricultural way of life from future child labor regulations that could limit the ability of youth to learn valuable skills by working on the farm.

AFBF continues to work with USDA and other agricultural organizations on agricultural safety programs.
Joining AFBF on the letter were the American Feed Industry Association; the American Horse Council; the American Seed Trade Association; the American Soybean Association; the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association; the International Association of Fairs and Expositions; the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture; the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; the National Council of Agricultural Employers; the National Cotton Council; the National FFA Organization; the National Milk Producers Federation; the National Pork Producers Council; the United Fresh Produce Association; and the U.S. Apple Association.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


GOVERNOR NAMES MILLER SPECIES CONSERVATION ADMINISTRATOR
BOISE–Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of Dustin Miller to the position of administrator at the Office of Species Conservation.
Miller was a regulatory affairs specialist at the Idaho Farm Bureau. The Species Conservation Office coordinates efforts to control Idaho’s own destiny on endangered species issues. 
Miller was an environmental liaison for the agency until becoming acting administrator in March with the departure of Nate Fisher, who resigned. The University of Idaho graduate in environmental science previously was natural resources field coordinator for Senator Larry Craig.
“Dustin’s collaborative temperament, his knowledge of Idaho’s resources and landscape, his on-the-ground approach to meeting tough challenges, and his experience at the federal, state and local levels in working with public and private stakeholders make him the right person for the job,” Governor Otter said. “The Office of Species Conservation is our first line of defense for responsibly protecting and restoring plant and wildlife populations, and Dustin understands the extraordinary and potentially devastating impacts that federal listings under the Endangered Species Act can bring.”
Most recently, Miller has been a key participant in Governor Otter’s efforts to forestall federal listing of sage-grouse, which could significantly reduce economic development opportunities and curtail many traditional uses of vast tracts of Idaho rangeland.
“It’s a big responsibility, but one that I’m prepared and eager to embrace for the people of Idaho,” Miller said. “I appreciate Governor Otter’s confidence in my ability to represent Idaho professionally and aggressively in defense of our resources and our economy.”
Miller’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Idaho Senate.

Monday, July 23, 2012



AFBF Calls for Federal Help for Farmers
Washington--American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman released a statement Thursday calling for a strengthened federal crop insurance program to help farmers meet disasters like the current drought. In his statement, he said, “this drought and the uncertainty it is causing farmers and ranchers and other segments of our industry underscores the importance of completing action on the 2012 farm bill.
“Providing farmers with improved risk management tools is a core principle of both the House and Senate versions of the pending farm bill, one we have strongly advocated,” continued Stallman. “Both the Senate-passed and House Agriculture Committee versions contain new tools that will assist farmers, while restoring several expired provisions that would help livestock producers manage the weather-related risks that regularly impact their livelihoods. We remain hopeful congressional leaders will expedite their work on this vital legislation.”

Friday, July 20, 2012


AFBF Asks to Join Poultry Farmer’s Lawsuit Against EPA

Washington--Taking aim at the Environmental Protection Agency in support of a Farm Bureau member, the American Farm Bureau Federation filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit concerning EPA’s authority to regulate poultry and livestock farms under the Clean Water Act. AFBF filed to intervene on the side of West Virginia poultry grower Lois Alt, who brought suit to challenge an EPA order demanding that Alt obtain an unnecessary and costly CWA discharge permit. AFBF was joined in the motion by the West Virginia Farm Bureau.

Alt sued EPA in June after the agency ordered her to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systemdischarge permit. EPA’s order threatens Alt with $37,500 in daily fines for storm water that may come into contact with dust, feathers or dander deposited on the ground outside of poultry house ventilation fans, or small amounts of manure that may be present in the farmyard as a result of normal poultry farming operations. EPA also seeks separate fines if Alt fails to apply for an NPDES permit for the alleged “discharge” of storm water from her farmyard. 

“Lois Alt runs an exemplary operation and has even won awards for the environmental stewardship she practices on her farm,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Her efforts to defend herself and her family farm against an illegal EPA order are commendable.”

In two prior court cases, AFBF has defeated EPA regulations that illegally attempted to impose broad NPDES permit requirements for thousands of livestock and poultry farmers whose operations have no regulated discharge. According to AFBF’s intervention papers, EPA’s order to Alt represents another attempt to regulate non-discharging farmers—this time by unlawfully narrowing the statutory exemption for “agricultural storm water discharges.” EPA has claimed in the Alt case that the statutory exemption for “agricultural storm water discharges” does not apply to larger farms that qualify as concentrated animal feeding operations except for “land application areas” where crops are grown.

“EPA basically claims that Lois Alt’s family farm isn’t agricultural and rainwater from her farmyard isn’t agricultural storm water, just because she houses more than a certain number of chickens,” said Stallman. “AFBF has asked to join this lawsuit on behalf of the thousands of other livestock and poultry farmers threatened by EPA’s extreme and unlawful restriction of the agricultural storm water exemption.”

Thursday, July 19, 2012



USDA Reports Biotech Crop Use Has Leveled Off
Washington--According to a recent update from the Agriculture Department, the use of biotech crops has leveled-off somewhat. 

The Economic Research Service reports that 88 percent of all corn grown in the U.S. this year is a genetically engineered variety, the same percentage as in 2011 and 2 percent more than in 2010. Biotech soybeans account for 93 percent of the crop this year, down 1 percent from last year and equal to 2010. Biotech cotton has shown a 4 percent increase from 2011; 94 percent of the nation’s cotton crop is now biotech.

The states with the highest percentage of genetically engineered crops are North Dakota (97 percent of corn and 98 percent of soybeans), South Dakota (98 percent of soybeans) and Arkansas (99 percent of cotton).
The full report from USDA is available here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer President's Meeting, Twin Falls

Summer Presidents tested their tractor skills at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds Tuesday night. Presidents had to run an obstacle course pulling a trailer...they all said 'it's harder than it looks'.

Summer President's Meeting

Bob Smathers of the Idaho Farm Bureau grills up steaks at the County Presidents Meeting in Twin Falls Idaho.  Presidents from just about every Idaho County are in attendance this year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012



AFBF: Methyl Bromide is Indispensable to Farmers

WASHINGTON-The American Farm Bureau Federation has told Congress that the continued shortage of methyl bromide and viable alternatives will negatively impact crop production in the U.S. and lead to higher dependence on imported food sources.
“Methyl bromide is an indispensable pest control tool used in crop production, grain storage, food processing and general pest management,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “For some agricultural users, its availability is nearly essential to providing consumers the safe and reliable food they expect.”
AFBF sent a letter to lawmakers in preparation for a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing next week on the U.S. Agriculture Sector Relief Act of 2012, which supports all continued uses of methyl bromide.
Non-critical use of the chemical compound was phased out in the U.S. in early 2005. Since that time, the Environmental Protection Agency has increasingly rejected critical uses of methyl bromide. Sales of viable alternatives, such as methyl iodide, have been suspended. The EPA has also proposed withdrawing tolerances of sulfuryl fluoride, another alternative. No other compound has proven as effective.
“Farm Bureau is concerned that the industry has reached a critical point and that, in the end, American consumers will suffer greatly from agriculture’s loss of methyl bromide,” said Stallman. “This elimination means the United States will increasingly depend on imported food sources that are potentially less regulated, less reliable and less safe.”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just in...



AFBF Raises Issue with Antibiotic Proposals
Washington--Citing a lack of scientific data, AFBF on Thursday submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration and the Health and Human Services Department on FDA proposals that would limit antibiotic use in livestock.

According to AFBF, there have been no peer-reviewed scientific studies to support the theory that judicious use of antibiotics in livestock increases antibiotic resistance in humans. In addition, there is no data to indicate that limiting antibiotic use in livestock decreases human health problems with antibiotic resistance.



Friday, July 13, 2012

Just in


AFBF Applauds House Ag Committee Farm Bill

Washington--The farm bill approved today by the House Agriculture Committee, in a 35-11 vote, is a fiscally responsible, bipartisan measure that continues to provide a basic-but-broad foundation of risk management protection for America’s farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.


“As the congressional calendar ticks down, time is of the essence,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “There are very few days remaining for this bill to be completed, but we need a new farm bill this year. We are committed to working with members of Congress to secure a bill that works for all Americans.”

Stallman said farmers are not going to receive all the provisions they had hoped for in this bill, but he commended “the bipartisan efforts that went into providing farmers and ranchers the risk management, marketing, conservation and trade tools necessary to ensure a solid, predictable agricultural economy over the next few years.”

"For more than a year, we have been advocating farm policy that protects and strengthens risk management programs for all farmers,” Stallman said. “This legislation maintains proven program features such as the marketing loan provision and strengthens the crop insurance program while setting a clear example of fiscal responsibility with significant but fair reductions in agriculture spending over the next decade.”

Passage of the bill by the House Agriculture Committee came as presidents of state Farm Bureaus were holding crucial meetings in Washington. Stallman commended House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) for their leadership and teamwork on the bill.

"Just as with the Senate farm bill, there are provisions we think could be improved—and we will continue working with leadership of both committees as the process moves forward,” Stallman said. “But at a time when bipartisan compromise is such a challenge in Washington, it is refreshing to see agriculture, through our elected leaders, set a clear example of working together on building a package of reforms in a fiscally responsible manner. We remain hopeful a farm bill can be completed and sent to President Obama before the current programs expire September 30.”

Thursday, July 12, 2012


One Step Forward: House Ag Committee Advances Farm Bill
Washington--The House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday approved H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 by a vote of 35-11.

“Today marked an important step forward in the development of the next farm bill,” said Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) in a statement. Lucas also noted that the currentfarm bill expires on Sept. 30 and only 13 legislative days remain before the August recess.

The legislation approved by the committee eliminates farm program direct payments, as did the version of the bill approved by the Senate last month. The committee bill cuts $12 billion more from food stamps compared to the Senate bill. It also includes a number of crop insurance programs for farmers affected by bad weather and natural disasters, as does the Senate version.

For more information on FARRM, click here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Emmett Sunrise


Forrest fires to the East, combined with range fires to the Southeast have taken a toll on air quality. Thick smoke blankets Southwest Idaho. Steve Ritter snapped this photo from Emmett.

Just in from Washington



Chairman Mike Simpson’s Grazing Provisions Pass Appropriations Committee

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, moved the Interior, Environment, Appropriations Act for FY2013 through committee this week.

 The bill contains several provisions essential for preserving responsible access to public grazing and may be considered by the full House within the next month.

“This bill strikes an appropriate balance between resource management, resource protection, and resource enjoyment,” said Simpson. “The bill provides the resources necessary to manage
federal lands for a multitude of uses while at the same time providing the funding required to protect our most treasured parks, forests, and refuges."

Simpson says it ensures that agencies have the resources they need to meet their obligations but does so within a reduced budget that reflects the fiscal challenges facing our nation. "It is not a perfect bill - it is a compromise bill that focuses on the biggest issues facing public land managers and the very real challenges facing the Treasury and taxpayers,” said Simpson.

The bill also addresses the growing, and unaccountable, costs to taxpayers of the Equal Access to Justice Act. Simpson is concerned that while EAJA was intended to provide a mechanism for
lower and middle income individuals to challenge the actions of an onerous federal government, it has become a slush fund for wealthy extremists in search of taxpayer funding of their unending, and oftentimes frivolous, lawsuits.

“The Equal Access to Justice Act is the perfect example of a well-intended federal program that has become far too expensive and morphed into something far removed from its intended purpose,”
said Simpson. “Today, EAJA is funding frivolous and legitimate lawsuits alike and doing so at great cost to the taxpayer. The Interior bill shines a light on EAJA’s excesses by requiring detailed reports on who is receiving taxpayer money and how much they’re getting. This is information the public has a right to see but has been difficult, or impossible, to get for far too many years.”


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just in from Washington


Obama Proposes Extending Tax Cuts for Some, Not All
Washington--President Obama today called for a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for those who earn less than $250,000 per year. The tax cuts expire at the end of this year. Those who make more than $250,000 a year would see their taxes go up under the president’s proposal. The president repeatedly has set $250,000 as the income dividing line on the issue of tax cuts.

Most Republicans in Congress and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney support extension of the tax cuts for all income levels (as does AFBF).

Designed to appeal to middle-income voters and put Republicans in the position of voting against middle-income tax relief during an election year, the president’s proposal faces opposition in Congress. The House is expected to vote this month on extending the tax cuts for all income levels. Economic analysts have said that at least a temporary extension of the tax cuts is needed to keep the U.S. economy from slipping back into a recession.

Monday, July 9, 2012



House Releases Farm Bill Draft
Washington--The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday released a draft of the farm bill to be considered by the committee this. A link to the bill can be found here and a summary can be found here.


 The American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors will discussed the farm bill draft on Friday, and AFBF will provide further information and analysis on today.



AFBF continues to urge the House and Senate to complete work on the farm bill this year. Markup in the House Agriculture Committee next week will be an important step in that process.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just in






Zebra Chips suspected in Twin Falls
Twin Falls--Officials with the University of Idaho's Kimberly Research and Extension Center says an outbreak of Zebra Chip is suspected in Twin Falls County.

U of I Professor   Erik Wenninger told The Times-News  that tests done on the field were positive for the bacterium that causes zebra chip. More tests are being done this week to confirm the results.

The potato disease causes flecking in potatoes' flesh, and when they are fried, the chip darkens. The defect can make the potatoes undesirable for fresh and process potatoes. The pathogen is not harmful to humans, its a production and quality control issue according to U of I officials.

Potato processing contracts allow for a small percentage of internal defects before a load is rejected.




Thursday, July 5, 2012

Just in


Miami Herald: Farms a Casualty of Immigration War
Miami--A Miami Herald article looks at how farmers are struggling to find workers due to the lack of a workable guest worker program and the uptick in the number of states putting tough immigration laws in place.

The article includes interviews with growers in New York and Washington, as well as with California Farm Bureau Federation’s Bryan Little.

 It also cites American Farm Bureau Federation economic analysis that projects yearly losses of $5 billion to $9 billion for fruit and vegetable growers because of the labor shortages. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012



Simpson Cuts EPA Budget, Reins in Regulatory Agenda

 
Washington- The House Appropriations Committee marked up the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2013 this week. 

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, who chairs the Interior and Environment Subcommittee, put forth a bill that responds to our nation’s fiscal crisis by cutting $1.2 billion from the current fiscal year’s level. The bill included $1.4 billion in cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.
 
“The biggest complaint I hear about the federal government is how the EPA is creating economic uncertainty and killing jobs,” said Simpson. “The EPA’s overly aggressive regulatory agenda and large budgets are signs of an agency that has lost its bearings. Throughout the Obama Administration the EPA has seen the largest funding increases in this bill, so it should come as no surprise that they are experiencing the largest cuts.”
 
The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2013 includes a 17% cut from current levels. The bill continues a cap on EPA’s personnel at the lowest number since 1992, cuts the office of the EPA Administrator by more than 30%, cuts the EPA Congressional Affairs office by 50%, rescinds certain unobligated grant and contract funding, and makes other cuts and reductions to programs within the agency. 
 
The bill includes a number of provisions intended to address EPA actions that have created uncertainty in our economy and threaten future economic growth, including:
·         A provision prohibiting the EPA from changing the definition of “navigable waterways” under the Clean Water Act;
·         A provision requiring agencies to make information regarding payments for legal fees to litigants who sue the federal government available to the public;
·         A provision providing exemptions from greenhouse gas reporting for certain agricultural activities;
·         A provision putting an effective hiring freeze on EPA employees, rejecting the President’s proposal to hire additional regulators;
·         A provision preventing EPA from expanding federal stormwater discharge program to existing commercial or residential properties without meeting congressional requirements;
·         A provision maintaining EPA’s current regulations exempting forest practices—including forest roads—from point source permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act.
 
During the Committee markup, additional amendments were adopted that would:
·         Prohibit EPA from regulating the use of the word "green" on lawn product labels;
·         Prohibit EPA from usurping state authority over financial assurance regulations for hardrock mining.
·         Prohibit EPA from imposing new standards for greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks in model year 2017.
·         Prohibit EPA from enforcing greenhouse gas New Source Performance Standards which threaten to prevent new coal-fired power plants from being built in the future.
·         Direct EPA to update its cost manual and solicit comments on updating its regional haze modeling tool.  Differences in the modeling and cost estimates between Western States and the EPA continue to be a point of frustration.
 
“If we really want to do something about the national deficit, we need to get our economy going again. Unfortunately, the EPA is the wet blanket that is preventing small businesses, farmers, and ranchers from investing in their businesses and creating jobs,” said Simpson. “The provisions in this bill are about jobs. They are about creating certainty in the marketplace and assuring businesses that it is safe to start hiring people again without the threat of the EPA—under the guise of protecting the environment—imposing millions of dollars of penalties through regulations that are unreasonable or simply defy common sense.”
 
The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2013 passed the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday. It may be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives in the coming weeks.
 
During the Committee markup, spoke in favor of an amendment offered by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).  You can view this on hisyoutube site or watch the entire mark-up at: http://appropriations.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=300597