TSCRA Government Affairs Roundup: Cattle Industry Convention, PAC voting recs, CERCLA/EPCRA movement and a WOTUS delay
Several TSCRA staff and leaders are in Phoenix, Arizona, this week attending the Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade show to represent TSCRA. A number of policy meetings are taking place during the convention, and as a state affiliate, TSCRA plays a role in helping to develop their policy on national issues.
As reported Thursday, the TSCRA PAC has released its initial voting recommendations for the 2018 Primary Election. To download the latest TSCRA PAC 2018 Primary Election Recommendations, click or tap here. Early voting runs Feb. 20 through March 2 with election day on March 6 in Texas. Early voting runs June 21 through 23 with election day on June 26 in Oklahoma.
There is more good news out of Washington D.C. on the CERCLA/EPCRA reporting requirements we began reporting on several weeks ago. Yesterday, a D.C. Circuit Court granted the EPA an additional delay of the mandate until May 1, 2018, which will allow time to find a permanent solution. Congress is working on legislation to permanently codify the agricultural exemption to CERCLA and EPCRA. A bill could be introduced as early as next week. TSCRA staff are engaging members of the Texas Congressional Delegation on the issue and also continue to work with NCBA government affairs staff in Washington. For more background on the issue, you can visit our website here.
It was also announced Thursday that U.S. Senator Jeff Flake is dropping his hold on the nomination of Gregg Doud to be the chief agriculture negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. This is especially important as NAFTA renegotiations continue. It is vital that agriculture has a prominent seat at the table in those talks. Doud still requires Senate confirmation, but we are hopeful that they will move quickly to do so. TSCRA staff will continue to engage on the issue to prevent harm to NAFTA.
On Wednesday, another step was taken in the demise of the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The EPA formally announced a two-year delay in the implementation of that overreaching Obama-era rule. The delay will give administration officials time to craft a new version of the rule. In a press statement Thursday TSCRA President Richard Thorpe concluded that “we look forward to working with EPA to ensure the replacement does not harm the men and women who raise our beef like its predecessor would have.”