Holiday Travel & Farm Bill Moves Forward

Holiday Travel & Farm Bill Moves Forward

Holiday Travel & Farm Bill Moves Forward plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow says the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement to move forward with the farm bill - a measure that affects 16-million American jobs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened for the first time Monday to pull the plug on the farm bill if Republicans continued to insist on what Reid considered unrelated amendments. Reid announced from the Senate floor his intention to either move ahead or scuttle the farm bill.

REID: We’ve spent so much precious time on this bill, precious time that we don’t have. We need to move forward on it. We’re going to move forward or off this bill.

The 4th of July is just two weeks away and AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day holiday, a 4.9 percent increase compared to the 40.3 million people who traveled last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8. Since July 4 falls on a Wednesday, the calendar will play a role in holiday travel volume as the mid-week holiday expands the traditional travel period to six days and provides the option of including a weekend and two week days on either side of the actual holiday.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement last week that it plans to retain the current coarse particulate matter standard is a little like good news/bad news. The agency’s decision to keep things status quo is undoubtedly welcomed by the agricultural community. But the issues surrounding farm dust are probably far from over. There is still a comment period, with the final standard yet to be announced. In a settlement agreement with environmentalists the EPA agreed to release the final dust standards in December of this year. It’s not surprising the final announcement will come after the political elections. What the EPA will do eventually is anyone’s guess. History dictates that the final standard is generally quite different than the proposed standards. The EPA’s last two revisions of the coarse particulate matter standard were obvious attempts to do away completely with the dust standard that’s in accordance with the science. We can only hope that the EPA keeps the PM 10 standard that the science determines. If come December the EPA administrator decides to lower the PM10 standard, the repercussions for the ag industry will be immense.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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