Once again, a President has designated land for national monuments without the advice and consent of Congress -- an action unchecked during the Bush years after President Clinton's highly controversial designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah. These land grabs may sound noble, but whenever federal officials replace state and local land managers, they tend to create problems for continuing use of the land and even surrounding areas. This is particularly true of Brown's Canyon in Colorado, says the Colorado Cattlemen's Association.
Raisin growers Marvin and Laura Horne have challenged a 66-year-old USDA regulation that allows the government to seize up to half a grower's raisin crop for forced resale overseas at discounted prices. The stated purpose is to keep the domestic price for raisins artificially high, but the Hornes claim that the seizure of their crop amounts to an unconstitutional taking without adequate compensation - and now the case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The federal ethanol mandate mut be rescinded, say CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen. Nearly 40% of the U.S. corn crop is devoted to ethanol, and this requires enormous amounts of irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gasoline or diesel fuel to grow, harvest, and ship the corn -- and then to ship the ethanol. While corn growers are protected by the mandate, they are making money -- but at the expense of chicken, turkey, egg, and hog farmers who are paying an extra $100 billion a year in feed costs. Moreover, energy from oil and gas drilling is much less harmful to the environment -- especially given the high usage of water, the unbearable flow of life-killing nutrients into the Gulf of Mexico, and of course the negative impacts on gasoline and diesel engines from the added ethanol (and the lower miles per gallon it delivers). It is time, says Driessen, to bury the Renewable Fuel Standard and the ethanol subsidies.
Farmers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore are breathing a sigh of relief on news that newly sworn-in Gov. Larry Hogan (R) plans to scrap regulations targeting agricultural runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. Hogan’s announcement came as outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) was scrambling to get the regulations finalized before leaving office Jan. 21. “The first fight [when I take office] will be against these politically motivated midnight-hour phosphorus management tool regulations that the outgoing administration is trying to force upon you in these closing days,” Hogan said in a speech before the Maryland Farm Bureau (Washington Times, Dec. 9) “We won’t allow [...]
The once-respected Piedmont Environmental Council has been shamed by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Virginia Assistant Attorney General Richard Mahevich for misdeeds surrounding its sale of Liberty Farm to organic farmer Martha Boneta. The PEC had inserted language into an easement agreement with Ms. Boneta and the VOF that benefitted PEC member Phil Thomas, who then took various actions against Ms. Boneta in a blatant attempt to force her to abandon the property she had turned from a dump into a profitable operation. Now the Virginia legislature is considering legislation to curb the power of land trusts.
While the so-called "Cromnibus" spending bill has its detractors on both sides of the political aisle, the devil is always in the details. And this bill, for the first time in years, did contain some items that will lead to cheering in rural and western America (and by right-minded people all over). Among them: the EPA is barred from cutting dairy CO2 emissions and from regulating farm ponds under navigable water legislation, and neither the greater sage grouse or its smaller cousin, the Gunnison sage grouse, can be officially listed as endangered until more studies are undertaken.
Do not for a moment believe that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is setting up these "Climate Hubs" to assist farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, says CFAC Advisor Bonner Cohen. The goal is to force these hard-working Americans into compliance with federal mandates on climate change -- which will surely include new restrictions on their use of water, livestock feed, fertilizers, livestock management techniques, and who knows what all else that violate every principle of real land management ever established through the test of time. If they succeed in this, we should fear for our food supply.
Prodded by attorneys, beekeepers in Canada's Ontario Province have filed a lawsuit against pesticide manufacturers, claiming that neonicotinoids are killing their hives. But beekeepers in western Canadian provinces are seeking to opt out of the lawsuit, but the Siskinds law firm is not cooperating with their requests. Should the beekeepers lose in court, they will be obligated to pay court costs and perhaps damages. Perhaps they will have to file their own lawsuit against the plaintiffs.
Back in 2007, states passed renewable portfolio standards at the same time the George W. Bush Administration was patting itself on the back for enacting the renewable fuels standard -- aka the ethanol mandate. Seven years later, most people see the flaws in this energy strategy, but the EPA continues unabated in its quest to push more ethanol into America's automobiles.
CFAC advisor Larry Bell says that we ought to beware of marketing terms such as “clean,” “renewable,” and “sustainable.” While those words may seem very nice, they have routinely been co-opted and redefined through misleading “Green” messaging campaigns. For example, corn ethanol yields less energy than is required to grow and produce it. Wind turbines are bird and bat executioners. Solar plants take up so much land that reptiles and other animals suffer. Plus, solar and wind are inherently intermittent,
Billionaire environmentalists have long been at war against the American people -- and hide behind federal agencies which have joyfully done their bidding. Today, however, people are awakening to this threat, and fighting back against the billionaires. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has written, the poor will revolt against this micro-management of the economy and the environment by rich elites.
With pressure from environmentalists (including anti-meat activists), the federal government reintroduced the Mexican grey wolf into southern New Mexico and other areas -- to the dismay of ranchers and their families, livestock, and pets. The anti-people zealots are now demanding even greater protections for these wolves, who routinely kill other endangered or threatened species and pose genuine threats to people despite claims that wolves do not attack humans. The time is now to fight against this dangerous trend -- by submitting comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wyoming ranchers are suing the Western Watersheds Project for trespassing for gathering water samples on private and state land without permission. WWP's stated mission is to rid public lands of all grazing leases. Writer Ron Arnold says their activities constitute "rural cleansing."
Dave Juday points out that the Congressional Budget Office, created during the Nixon Administration to be a nonpartisan evaluator, is doing its job by reporting that with no changes to the renewable fuel standard, the price of diesel fuel will jump by 30 to 51 cents per gallon, with E10 gasoline prices rising 13 to 26 cents per gallon. The EPA has already admitted it needs to lower the biofuels requirement for 2014, but it is nearly August and no final action has been taken. This, Juday notes, frustrates policymakers, analysts, and most of all gasoline and diesel marketers. comending that the government make changes to the EPA's renewable fuel standard to reflect real-world
Paul Driessen explains the damage done to the Gulf of Mexico from nitrogen fertilizer runoff that flows down the Mississippi and creates massive dead zones (no oxygen) that kill marine life. This is on top of other problems caused by adding ethanol to gasoline -- poor engine performance, higher food prices, and more