High Gas Prices & Farm Bill Sent to Senate

High Gas Prices & Farm Bill Sent to Senate

High Gas Prices & Farm Bill Sent to Senate plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

The House has sent its farm-only farm bill to the Senate. The Senate is sending their version to the House so conference can begin. There has been some question about the lack of a nutrition package in the House version but House Ag Committee Chairman Lucas says they intend on moving forward with conference even without the additional piece of legislation. No timeline has been announced.

During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell raised the need for better oversight of gasoline markets and refineries on the West Coast.

CANTWELL: We found last year that in a West Coast refinery fire, everybody said that this is the cause of the spike, when in reality data showed that refineries weren’t offline. But actually were still emitting, which raised a lot of questions about who’s actually following these markets and the transparency. I believe that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) should play an even bigger role.

Cantwell was addressing Dan Gilligan, President, Petroleum Marketers Association and Bill Klesse, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Valero Energy Corporation.

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

Despite the uproar earlier this year over how the Environmental Protection Agency oopsed in releasing personal and private information about livestock and poultry farmers to certain environmental groups, that agency was preparing recently to release yet more information about farmers and ranchers in California, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Washington State. This prompted the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council to file a lawsuit and a request for a temporary restraining order July 5th to prevent the EPA from making yet another Freedom of Information Act release. In response the EPA has decided to suspend a FOIA release to at least half a dozen groups which had requested the information. The agency has informed the groups that their information requests will have to wait until litigation is concluded. This is considered a “short term victory” by the AFBF and the NPPC, who will now drop the temporary restraining order request, but there will still be major legal issues to resolve through the courts. Federal transparency is one thing, but releasing farmers names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and personal contact information remains a major “breech of confidentiality”.

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

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