Archive for November, 2009

EPA Ethanol Blend Decision Expected Tuesday

The Environmental Protection Agency is set make a decision on Tuesday on a petition by Growth Energy to raise the blend limit in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent.

However, even if EPA agrees to raise the limit, there is no guarantee that gasoline with a higher blend of ethanol will be available at service stations any time soon.  According to the Des Moines Register, refiners don’t want to put more ethanol in gasoline unless Congress gives them protection from potential lawsuits from motorists or consumers who claim that ethanol hurts their engines.

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HSUS Goes to Missouri

As assumed in the aftermath of Issue 2 in Ohio last month, the Humane Society of the United States has announced that they plan to sponsor a ballot initiative in Missouri in the spring of 2010. It is expected that this initiative will look very similar to Proposition 2 that was passed in California.

Missouri does not plan to sit back on this issue. State agricultural groups have come together to formally organize as the Missouri Animal Ag Coalition. Garrett Hawkins from the Missouri Farm Bureau confirmed that notion when he spoke to the University of Missouri’s Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter on Nov. 18.

“We don’t agree with the way members will be selected for the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, but I would expect to see something similar,” Hawkins said.

The Missouri Animal Ag Coalition will focus on the creation of legislation, a strong public relations campaign, developing a network of partners, finding grassroots support and developing an effective social media presence. Ideally, it will consist of a representative from each industry; along with professionals from all of the fields involved in the future debate with HSUS.

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China Approves Biotech Rice

According to the Wall Street Journal...

China’s government declared two strains of genetically modified rice safe to produce and consume, taking a major step toward endorsing the use of biotechnology in the staple food crop of billions of people in Asia.

In a written reply to questions from The Wall Street Journal, China’s Ministry of Agriculture said Monday that it had issued safety certificates to domestically developed strains of genetically modified rice and corn, after a years-long process involving trial production and environmental tests. Further approvals are required before the strains can be grown on a commercial scale, the ministry said, and industry participants said it may take another two to three years for the rice to reach production.

The Chinese approval of biotech crops comes after a decision earlier this year by British government ministries to allow the import of biotech crops to Britain, breaking a long-time ban of the technology in Britain and breaking with the continued ban by the EU.

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Managing Nitrogen to Maximize Gains

The Boulder Valley and Longmont Conservation Districts, along with the Longmont Natural Resources Conservation Service office invite you to the “Managing Nitrogen to Maximize Gains” workshop on January 7, 2010 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, Colorado.

If you plant to attend, please RSVP at (303) 776-4034 ext. 3.

Speakers will include:

Mike Peterson- Agronomist for Orthman

Brian Arnall- Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University

Lunch will be provided.

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General Session Highlights

Kimbal Rssmussen, Deseret Power and Transmission

Kimbal Rasmusen of Deseret Power and Transmission in Utah, spoke at the General Session of the 09 Annual Meeting and confirmed much of what we all suspected about the global warming “crisis.” Kimbal id a great job of explaining the data surrounding the global warming models that predict our coming doom, and the large assumptions that scientists had to make in order to receive the predictions they claim are foolproof. He also showed us the absurdity of the Cap and Trade scheme when looked at in the global context. The legislation will have no effect on any global warming that may be occurring, if China and India the worlds largest emitters of GHG’s, do nothing to slow their contribution of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. You can access the Rassmussen Powerpoint Presentation here on The Pulse to view the information yourself.

Dr. Dana Hoag, CSU

Dr. Dana Hoag of CSU was also on hand at the General Session to present his study on the costs to agriculture from the states wildlife population every year. Dr. Hoag’s study has found that every year, it costs Colorado agriculture $67 million to coexist with the states wildlife. This figure includes the opportunity cost of coexistence, damages and management and prevention. You can read the full report here. Dr. Hoag’s study was comissioned by Colorado Farm Bureau in order to understand the full measure of the agricultural contribution to the states wildlife population.

Georgia Farm Bureau President, Zippy Duvall

Also at the General Session, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall introduced members to theirFarm Bureau partner down south, surveying Georgia agriculture and the traditions and culture that make up the soul of Georgia Farm Bureau. Later that evening Mr. Duvall also spoke to county farm bureau presidents.

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Climate Bill May Not Hit Senate Floor Until July or Later

Climate change legislation is not expected to hit the Senate floor until July, it is possible the bill will be put off until the next Congress

“Most of the country doesn’t know what cap-and-trade is. They have no idea. I would say half the Senate has no idea what cap-and-trade is and could not explain it,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, told The Hill on Tuesday.

Democratic centrists facing re-election, such as Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), are said to prefer consideration of the controversial climate bill shortly before Election Day 2010.

In response to the postponing of the legislation, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), “We won, you lost; Get a life.”

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Hackers Post Thousands of Climate Change Documents Online

Computer hackers illegally accessed thousands of e-mails and documents from a prominent climate change research center and posted them online last week. The posted materials, stolen from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in the United Kingdom, are raising eyebrows and ethical questions in the scientific community.

Correspondence among dozens of researchers around the world, including some from the U.S., points to bitter divides among those who believe global warming is caused by human activities and rivals who take the opposing viewpoint. Some of the e-mail correspondence refers to scientists who believe humans cause global warming working to exclude the publication of contrary views in scientific publications.

Sen.  James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the most outspoken global warming skeptic in Congress, said Tuesday that he’d begun an investigation into what he alleges to be the manipulation of global warming research.

He also said he wanted to look into whether the conclusions of an international panel on global warming—and the policies based on it—were distorted.

Inhofe, the senior Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sent letters to many of the scientists whose e-mail messages were made public, and to a number of U.S.  government agencies, asking them to preserve all correspondence as the first step in his investigation.

The stakes in this controversy are significant, as it appears that the basis of federal programs, pending E.P.A. rulemakings, and cap-and-trade legislation was contrived and fabricated,” Inhofe said.

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