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New campaign to prevent farms, ranches from being regulated like toxic superfund sites

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) kicked off a media campaign Tuesday aimed at spotlighting and correcting a recent court decision that will require livestock producers to comply with laws that are only meant to apply to highly toxic Superfund sites. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) was enacted to provide for cleanup of the worst industrial chemical toxic waste dumps and spills, such as oil spills and chemical tank explosions. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was enacted to ensure that parties who emit hazardous chemicals submit reports to their local emergency responders to allow for more effective planning for chemical emergencies. Both of these laws include reporting requirements connected to the events at hand. However, neither of these laws was ever intended to govern agricultural operations, for whom emissions from livestock are a part of everyday life. 

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Jan 16, 2018

Texas Agriculture Law Blog: Pipeline easement negotiation checklist and podcast

If you’ve ever received a notice that a pipeline company is planning on coming across your property and you found yourself facing the task of negotiating an easement, you know how intimidating that can be. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you, as a landowner, do have rights!  You can and should take time to really negotiate with the company to ensure you are receiving adequate compensation and have included terms in the agreement to protect your property. Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Extension ag law specialist with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, covers eminent domain and landowner rights. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Jan 12, 2018

NCBA’s Beltway Beef Podcast: A look ahead at 2018

In the first Beltway Beef podcast of 2018, NCBA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall looks ahead to what the year may hold in store in Washington for some of the top issues affecting America’s cattle producers.

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Jan 03, 2018

TSCRA statement on passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

TSCRA President Richard Thorpe issued a statement Wednesday following final passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act appreciating the efforts of Congress to make important, long overdue changes to the nation’s tax laws.

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Dec 21, 2017

TSCRA Government & Public Affairs Roundup: Tax reform and making sure ag is included in disaster recovery

This week, TSCRA signed onto a letter by Congressman Mike Conaway, chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. The letter urges House and Senate appropriations leaders to ensure farm and ranch families are a full part of Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts and the nation’s food supply is protected from future natural disasters. It also includes a proposed framework to address agricultural concerns in a supplemental appropriations bill.

 Tax reform also continues to push forward in Washington. The bill is currently in conference committee, where differences between the House and Senate version are being reconciled. Details on the compromise legislation are expected as early as Friday. TSCRA Government and Public Affairs staff will continue to monitor the progress and engage key lawmakers as necessary.

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Dec 15, 2017

Texas land grab: How the feds abused power to seize property for border fence

A decade ago, many border Texans got a raw deal when the federal government seized land for a barrier — while others pushed up the price. Will the government’s rushed, haphazard process be repeated as it pushes for a border wall? The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, which produces investigative journalism in the public interest, partnered on this project to expose the federal government’s use of eminent domain to seize land for a fence along the U.S -Mexico border. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Dec 14, 2017

Republicans have a final deal on their tax bill — here’s what’s in it

Republican leaders on Wednesday reached an agreement on their final tax bill, paving the way for an overhaul of the federal tax code by Christmas. The bill, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is in a conference committee to iron out discrepancies between the House and Senate versions that those chambers passed. The final bill could have significant changes. Business Insider takes a look at what the reported changes that have been agreed upon. Read more…

General Discussion, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Dec 14, 2017

Senators lead bipartisan call for delayed implementation of ELDs for livestock transporters

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) today led a bipartisan group of colleagues in calling for delayed implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) for commercial motor vehicles transporting livestock or insects. The senators’ letter to Senate leadership supports a provision in the U.S. House-passed Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill delaying implementation of ELDs and providing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) time to make the necessary adjustments to hours of service rules to address animal welfare concerns.

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Dec 08, 2017

Support for tax reform legislation growing, says Committee on Ways and Means

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means says coast to coast, support for historic tax reform legislation is growing. As lawmakers from both chambers of Congress meet to bring together the best ideas from both the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, people from across the country continue to voice their support for this pro-growth legislation. One of these supporters is TSCRA Director Arthur Uhl, who penned a column in the Waco Tribune-Herald about how tax reform will bolster Texas ranchers and farmers.

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Dec 07, 2017

TSCRA Government and Public Affairs Roundup: Tax reform, Transportation ELD and HOS rules, WOTUS testimony

This week TSCRA Government and Public Affairs staff kept an eye on federal tax reform activities in Washington D.C., submitted official comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to weigh in on the request for a waiver from the livestock industry on the agency’s Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and Hours of Service (HOS) rule, and signed on to comments about WOTUS submitted to the EPA.

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Dec 01, 2017