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State regulators reopen case on San Onofre nuclear plant

The California Public Utilities Commission said it is reevaluating the settlement agreement that left ratepayers on the hook for $3.3 billion of the cost of closing the plant. The commission is giving parties involved in the case the opportunity to comment on whether the agreement was reasonable given that representatives of the plant's primary owner, Southern California Edison, engaged in secret talks with regulators over the closed nuclear plant.

Economist explains bleak economic realities of oil crash

As a result of Alaska's full-blown dependence on oil money, the state now faces a grim $4.1 billion budget deficit. Knapp's message is simple, but sobering: "The era when we can rely on oil to pay for most of state government is basically coming to an end."

According to Knapp, the state faces four basic options for reducing the state budget deficit. "We have a problem that can really only be solved by pulling a lot of economic levers," he said. "And the essential issue we face is: How hard do we pull each one?"

Bill introduced in Ohio Senate would extend freeze on renewable-energy standards

Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican from Cincinnati, introduced a bill on Monday that would extend a freeze on the state's renewable energy standards for another three years.

After lifting the freeze in 2019, Senate Bill 320 would phase in renewable energy goals in three-year increments through 2028. Utilities would be required to obtain 5.5 percent of their energy from renewable sources in 2022, 8.5 percent in 2025 and 11.5 percent in 2028. Starting in 2029, the goal would be 12.5 percent.

PJM Study Defends Markets, Warns State Policies can Harm Competition

A PJM Energy Market analysis released concludes that the RTO’s markets are efficiently managing the entry and exit of capacity resources but warns their efforts could be hamstrung by policies to protect social, economic or political interests.“Policymakers must weigh these trade-offs, but understand that pursuing individual actions that ‘defeat’ efficient market outcomes will aggregate to a point they will altogether thwart effective operation of the market to the point it can no longer be relied upon to govern resource exit and entry and attract capital investment when needed,” it said.

Hawaii plan would offset cost of organic farm certification

A bill passed by the Hawaii Legislature sets up tax breaks for Hawaii farmers to offset the cost of becoming certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hawaii is the first state to pass such a law.

Under the Hawaii bill farmers could get up to $50,000 in tax credits for qualifying expenses, which include application fees, inspection costs and equipment or supplies needed to produce organic products. The state would be capped at giving out $2 million in tax breaks per year.

Mechanical Onion Harvesting a Game Changer

Ride through rural South Georgia this time of year and you'll see teams of migrant workers picking sweet onions from the field.  Farmers have struggled for decades to use a federal program to get documented workers. At one Tattnall County farm, a labor crisis may have helped find a solution.

Gary Ray looked behind him as a machine replaced dozens of workers harvesting onions from his field. For years, his family has endured the red tape to get legal migrant workers through a federal program. He says this year, the workers didn't show.

Opponents call cage-free egg ballot question rotten

A dispute over a ballot question that would mandate all eggs sold in Massachusetts be from hens that are cage-free is headed to the state’s highest court, a sign of the increasing intensity in a battle between agricultural interests and animal welfare advocates.  The Supreme Judicial Court on June 8 will hear arguments in a lawsuit backed by a group allied with the agriculture industry.  Protect the Harvest is disputing Attorney General Maura Healey’s approval of the referendum language, arguing it doesn’t follow the state Constitution’s requirements for initiative petitions.And the nonprof

Peanuts, John Block Commentary on Trade

As a farmer, I would not like it if Europe shipped subsidized beef into our market. That would undercut our prices. What if Brazil shipped subsidized soybeans to us? We would be furious.

Did you know that the U.S. government does this all of the time? Think about it this way. There are millions of people underfed, some starving, in many countries. The humanitarian thing to do is, send them food. And we should, but it’s not as simple as that.

Cartoonist says his work got him axed

A freelance cartoonist says he was fired for drawing an editorial cartoon that bemoaned Iowa farmers' dwindling profits while CEOs at large agricultural corporations earn millions of dollars.

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