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AgClips

  • Researchers see stronger electric grid in regions with large amounts of renewables | Think Progress

    But a new report prepared by consulting firm Analysis Group concludes that the evidence does not support these claims. The addition of new natural gas-fired units and renewable energy capacity are increasing the nation’s electric reliability, not jeopardizing it, the report says. The report, titled “Electricity Markets, Reliability and the Evolving U.S. Power System,” was released only days before Department of Energy staff members are scheduled to deliver a report on the impact of renewables on the nation’s power grid. In April, Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed his staff to put together the report, which environmentalists and renewable energy advocates have worried will be tilted in favor of the coal industry. Perry ordered the grid study to be completed in 60 days.The Analysis Group report concludes many advanced energy technologies such as efficient natural gas-fired generation and renewables provide reliability benefits by increasing the diversity of the electric system. As wind and solar energy become more prominent in certain regions, the trend in reliability performance in these areas is increasing rather than decreasing, the report says.

    Post date: Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:07
  • Ohio budget amendments: another utility ‘bailout’ and a rollback of wind setbacks | Midwest Energy News

    Ohio’s budget bill reported out of the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday comes with an amendment that would expressly authorize extra charges to ratepayers to support utilities’ financial health. Meanwhile, another amendment would relax the tripled wind turbine setbacks that were included at the last minute in a 2014 budget bill. Ohio House Bill 49 could head to the Ohio Senate floor as early as today. The amendment to bolster utilities’ credit ratings has gotten a chorus of criticism from groups that have opposed various other “bailout” proposals.

    Post date: Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:06
  • Rural Areas Brace for Health Care Bill Impact | Roll Call

    The Senate historically has paid special attention to the needs of rural areas, but as the chamber readies its health care bill, there are concerns that the bill would undermine coverage in those places more than anywhere else. While the exact text of the Senate bill is not yet posted publicly, all signs point to somewhat similar language to the House bill (HR 1628), which would reduce funding for Medicaid compared to current law and impose caps on Medicaid funding. Under the House bill, older people also would face higher premiums — and rural areas tend to be home to a large number of older Americans. These proposals worry advocacy groups, as rural areas are disproportionately affected by cuts to Medicaid and premium increases. Rural areas already have more uninsured and underinsured people per capita than the rest of the country. In addition, these organizations are expressing frustrations over the increased levels of bad debt to rural hospitals and the need for marketplace changes.

    Post date: Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:05
  • Supreme Court asked to reverse GMO cooking oil class action | Capital Press

    A legal dispute over labeling vegetable oil as “natural” even though it contains genetically engineered ingredients could have repercussions for other food-related class action lawsuits.Earlier this year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a lawsuit against the Conagra food processing company to proceed as a class action, which means numerous consumers who bought its Wesson vegetable oil can join in the litigation.The complaint alleges that Conagra deceived consumers with labels claiming the oil was “100% Natural” despite being derived from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, which aren’t considered natural.Conagra now wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the class action designation because there’s no way to “efficiently and reliably identify” the millions of people who’ve bought Wesson oil over the past decade.“That left only one other possible source of information about the transactions — consumers’ memories of low-value grocery store purchases, recalled years later in hopes of a cash reward,” Conagra said in its Supreme Court review request.Apart from having implications for foods containing GMOs, the lawsuit is seen by food manufacturers as emblematic of a broader problem with litigation over labeling.

    Post date: Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:04
  • GoFundMe Page to Support Lobbyist Matt Mika Raises Goal to 50K | Roll Call

    “Matt and his family are stunned by the outpouring of love and support. In less than 24 hours, your contributions helped us surpass our initial goal! We’ve raised the bar to make an even bigger impact, so please continue to share,” the page reads. Mika’s family said in a statement over the weekend that his condition had improved and that they expect a “full recovery.” The statement said Mika was communicating with notes and signed the game ball for the annual congressional game.

    If you wish to send cards, they can be sent care of the Tyson Dc office at 601 Penn Ave, NW  Suite 750, Washington DC   22202.

    Post date: Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:03

Ag and Rural Leaders

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STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is where state leaders find the answers they need on agriculture and rural policy issues.

Gleanings

Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  

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Farm

Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices. 

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