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Tax bill rescinds tax on oil companies to fund spill response

Congressional Republicans allowed a tax on oil companies that generated hundreds of millions of dollars annually for federal oil-spill response efforts to expire this week — a move that amounts to another corporate break for the industry.  The tax on companies selling oil in the United States generated an average of $500 million in federal revenue per year, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Perdue asks Forest Service leaders to think as OneUSDA

In his 2018 New Year’s message, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an accountability initiative that left current and former federal workers scratching their heads.“So from today forward, you will hear all of USDA leadership, from the Office of the Secretary on down, begin to refer to us as OneUSDA,” Perdue said in a video released on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Judge throws out case against Bundys, bars retrial in devastating defeat for federal prosecutors

 

A federal judge dismissed Monday all charges against rancher Cliven Bundy stemming from the 2014 Nevada standoff and barred prosecutors from retrying the case, citing “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct.” U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gloria Navarro’s dramatic ruling during a hearing in federal court in Las Vegas wasn’t entirely unexpected, given that she declared a mistrial last month after finding that federal prosecutors had willfully withheld evidence from the defense.

 

USDA Withdrawal of Certain Proposed Rules and Other Proposed Actions

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing that it has withdrawn certain advance notice of proposed rulemakings (ANPRM) and proposed rules that were either published in the Federal Register more than 4 years ago without subsequent action or determined to no longer be candidates for final action. USDA is taking this action to reduce its regulatory backlog and focus its resources on higher priority actions.

Conservation needs strong support in next farm bill

Use of precision agriculture allows us to monitor and apply water and nutrients where needed. We recently converted some irrigated acres to a buried drip system, which reduces water use and lowers impact on the soil. With the addition of rotations that integrate cover crops, weed pressure goes down, and water and nutrients stay in the soil and not in the streams.  These are just a few changes in technology and management that support an agriculture that is both productive and environmentally responsible.

NMPF Tells State, Federal Regulators: Enforcement Action Needed Against Doubly Deceptive Kite Hill “Almond Milk Yogurt”

The National Milk Producers Federation urged state and federal regulators today to take enforcement action against a plant-based food company whose imitation “yogurt” violates the federal definition for dairy foods and fails to provide the same nutrition as real yogurt.  NMPF called out Hayward, California-based Kite Hill for illegally labeling its line of products and implying the nut-based foods are suitable substitutes for the real dairy foods it attempts to mimic.

Will 2018 Be the Year of Protectionism?

The Trump administration will soon face several major trade decisions that will determine whether the White House adopts the type of protectionist barriers that President Trump campaigned on but that were largely absent during his first year in office.In 2018, Mr. Trump will have several opportunities to punish foreign rivals as the final decider in a series of unusual trade cases that were initiated last year.

Tax overhaul will increase food insecurity in Montana

Congress passed a significant overhaul to our tax system and we in Montana are left wondering what it will mean for us. As members of the Montana Food Security Council, we cannot help but fear the impact on our most vulnerable citizens. We believe that several tenets of the plan will worsen food insecurity in our state. Most low- and middle-income families in the U.S. will see little benefit, with many even experiencing tax increases by the end of the decade.

EPA nixes bid to herd livestock under Clean Air Act

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it has denied a petition by environmental groups to regulate concentrated animal feeding operations like factories under the Clean Air Act. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in a letter to petitioners, acknowledged livestock are potential sources of air pollutants. The agency, however, doesn’t have a reliable method for estimating animal emissions.

More schools participate in USDA Farm to School program

More schools districts – and therefore more schoolchildren – are learning about healthy eating habits, and more schools would like to be able to source meats locally, according to the latest USDA Farm to School Census. More than 5,200 school districts and 57,600 schools participated in the program in 2015, which tracks local sourcing of food fed to schoolchildren during the course of the day.

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