TSCRA statement on finalized EPA water rule

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TSCRA President Pete Bonds made a statement Wednesday after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The agency finalized the rule, which unilaterally expands its jurisdiction over water in our country, only 6 months after receiving 1 million public comments. “The EPA claims the finalized Waters of the U.S. rule is an effort to keep our nation’s water clean and safe, but I fully disagree…” Read more…

NCBA: EPA writes off rural America, finalizes proposed WOTUS rule

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

The EPA finalized its “Waters of the United States” proposed rule Wednesday, which unilaterally strips private property rights and adds hundreds of thousands of stream miles and acres of land to federal jurisdiction. Under the guise of clarifying the Clean Water Act, the EPA and the Army Corps added ambiguous language to the law that leaves regulation up to the subjectivity of individual regulators across the country. By law, the EPA must read and consider all comments submitted on the proposed rule, but only six months after receiving over one million public comments on the proposal, EPA has finalized the rule. Philip Ellis, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president, said this is a clear indication there is no intention of considering the concerns of those most impacted by the rule. Read more…

TSCRA wraps up Texas Central Railway informational meetings

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Around 100 ranchers, landowners and guests attended the second of TSCRA’s informational meetings in Navasota Thursday evening at the Grimes County Expo Center. Kyle Workman, president, Texans Against High-Speed Rail, was there to discuss the project and answer questions. TSCRA hosted a previous meeting May 14 in Corsicana at the Navarro County Exposition Center. Read more…

Legislation introduced in House to repeal COOL

Photo © 2012 Cattlemen's Beef Board

After more than a decade and 2 administrations failing to successfully implement the rule, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, introduced legislation (H.R. 2393) to repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Originally introduced in the 2002 Farm Bill covering beef, pork and chicken; and implemented in 2008, COOL has been detrimental to the U.S. livestock industry and without benefit to U.S. consumers. After multiple rulings against the U.S. by the World Trade Organization, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis said this action by Congress is long overdue. Read more…

TSCRA Hosts Texas Central Railway Informational meeting

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TSCRA welcomed members and local ranchers to an informational meeting Thursday evening in Corsicana on the proposed Texas Central Railway (TCR). Pete Bonds, TSCRA president, welcomed attendees and noted that the meeting was an opportunity to learn more about the project. Read more…

Committee hearing scheduled for Senate Bill 474 by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst

Texas State Capitol photo by TexasExplorer98 at flickr

Thanks to those who called Rep. Joe Deshotel urging him to schedule S.B. 474 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst for a committee hearing. Your efforts were successful and the bill is scheduled for a House Land and Resource Management Committee hearing on Monday, May 18 at 2:00 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House. While this is a step forward, our work isn’t finished yet. It is important to tell the committee members to vote YES on S.B. 474, which helps level the playing field for landowners by requiring condemnors to pay the landowner’s litigation fees if the initial offer is too low. Please call the House Land and Resource Management Committee members and tell them to vote YES on this bill and pass it out of the committee on Monday. Read more…

Conaway supports legislation to stop WOTUS proposed rule

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House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, spoke May 13 in support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Act of 2015. The bill, which would force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to stop moving forward with the proposed “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, passed the House by a vote of 261-155. Read more…

TSCRA submits comments opposing 2015 DGAC report

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TSCRA submitted comments on Friday, May 8 opposing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee;s (DGAC) report, which encourages Americans to consume less beef. The report provides recommendations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) secretaries as they develop their plan for revised dietary guidelines. Read more…

TSCRA to host Central Texas Railway Informational meetings

TCR_HotButton

TSCRA is hosting two informational meetings on the proposed Texas Central Railway (TCR) in Corsicana on May 14 and Navasota on May 21. The featured speaker at both meetings will be Kyle Workman, president of Texans Against High-Speed Rail. Workman will be available to answer questions about the project from attendees. Read more…

Last chance to submit comments opposing flawed 2015 dietary guidelines

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The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recently submitted their dietary recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Health and Human Services (HHS). Their suggestions are very negative toward the meat industry. In fact, they are recommending a reduction in the consumption of red meat. The DGAC’s report will guide the USDA and HHS Secretaries as they finalize the 2015 Dietary Guidelines by the end of the year. The report is open for public comment until May 8, and it is extremely important for cattle raisers to voice opposition to these severely flawed recommendations. Take a stand against the federal government’s bureaucratic anti-meat agenda and submit comments telling them beef should always be on Americans’ plates. Read more…

Ag committee chairman rejects generic label option

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House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, has rejected the latest recommendation to establish a generic mandatory label option, an option typically referred to as a “Product of North America” label, should the U.S. lose its World Trade Organization (WTO) appeal regarding country of origin labeling (COOL) in the coming weeks. Read more…

Senators call for repeal of WOTUS

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced Thursday they are introducing bipartisan legislation to repeal the EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) proposal, a proposal that will jeopardize the rights of private property owners across the country. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the Senators for actively working to stop the EPA’s aggressive attempt to expand federal jurisdiction over nearly all waters. Read more…

TSCRA Cattlemen's Column: Texas Water Shortage Spurs Legislative Concern

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Jay Evans, TSCRA director and chair of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee, talks drought, groundwater, legislation and how all three are putting pressure on the private property rights of ranchers across the state. Read more…

TSCRA statement on House passage of death tax repeal act

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TSCRA Second Vice President Robert McKnight, a rancher from Fort Davis, made a statement following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015,  The legislation, which passed with a with a 240-179 vote,  was authored and championed by Rep. Kevin Brady, Texas, Dist. 8. Read more…

‘Death tax’ punishes success

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Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas,  a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, discuss the death tax and why it is the wrong tax at the wrong time and hurts the wrong people, like ranchers and farmers. Read more at USAToday…

TSCRA submits comments opposing EPA water rule proposal

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TSCRA President Pete Bonds made a statement after TSCRA submitted comments on Friday opposing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule proposal. The rule would redefine the term navigable under the waters of the U.S. to give the federal government jurisdiction over all water in the country. Read more…

Deadline for submitting comments to stop EPA land grab is Friday

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The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a rule proposal in March attempting to expand their authority over waters of the U.S. The EPA currently has jurisdiction over “navigable” waterways, meaning a body of water you could sail a large ship through. If adopted, the rule would redefine navigable to include jurisdictional tributaries, ponds, streams, creeks, ditches, puddles, man-made conveyances, wet areas on pastures, etc. Basically, the federal government would control every drop of water in the country. The rule proposal amounts to the largest land grab in history and would result in additional onerous regulations for you as ranchers and landowners. TSCRA is urging you, your family, friends and neighbors to comment on this flawed rule proposal by visiting www.tscra.org and clicking on the “EPA Land Grab” button. The deadline for submitting comments is FRIDAY, NOV. 14, 2014. Read more…

Cattlemen's Column: Securing Texas Landowners' Private Property Rights

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Since TSCRA was established in 1877, one of the association’s top priorities has been to represent landowners by working to preserve and protect private property rights. This goal remains vital today as we monitor issues that could adversely affect the important rights held by ranchers and agricultural producers as stewards of our nation’s land. TSCRA has recently been monitoring a new rule proposed by the Railroad Commission of Texas, in the wake of the 2013 Denbury case. This new rule attempts to clarify how oil and gas pipeline companies can obtain “common carrier” status when applying for a permit to operate a new pipeline. Read more…

Staples testifies before US House Committee on Natural Resources, encourages Endangered Species Act reform

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples testified Sept. 9 before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. Committee members considered six bills to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Staples spoke in support of H.R. 4284, the ESA Improvement Act of 2014, sponsored by Congressman Randy Neugebauer, R, Texas – Dist. 19. Read more…

GOP rep: 'Dangerous' EPA rule could increase food costs

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Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., said Monday that a proposed Environmental EPA rule would wreak havoc on farmers and possibly drive up food prices. The EPA has the authority to issue rules for bodies of water on farms to ensure runoff is safe and not damaging to the environment, but Republicans argue the EPA has been too heavy-handed and could end up regulating a drainage ditch instead of just streams and rivers. Read more at The Hill…