American Farm Bureau Federation Goes to Bat for the RFS

If you could make your own fuel – you’d probably do it – right? Well – the United States can and does make its own renewable fuel. The Renewable Fuels Standard is a law that calls for a certain amount of renewable fuels to be mixed into the motor vehicles fuel supply. Its aim was to move the country toward greater energy independence. But American Farm Bureau Economist Matt Erickson says a recent proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency would cut back on the policies that are making that happen…

“The EPA released their proposed volume requirements for 2014. They set the fuel blending requirement overall for renewable fuels to 15.52 billion gallons, 1 billion less than 2013.”
That means the EPA is suggesting we backtrack. Instead of adding more renewable fuels to the fuel supply – which leads to a cleaner burning fuel – it’s recommending we add less…

“We are greatly disappointed in EPA’s proposed volume requirements. They are taking a step backwards and really taking away the true meaning of the Renewable Fuels Standard. Since the RFS was put in place in 2007, we have seen crude oil imports decrease from 60% to 40%.”

But Erickson points out the renewable energy industry is still young – especially in the area of cellulosic biofuels – which are made out of things like corn cobs, switchgrass and algae. The EPA is accepting comments about their proposal until January 28th.

Lucas to File for Short-Term Farm Bill Extension

Even though the top farm bill negotiators have made progress and continue to have productive meetings – House Ag Chair Frank Lucas says there are still some outstanding issues they are addressing. Lucas is confident they will work through them and finish a farm bill in January – but not before. Therefore – Lucas says he will file legislation to extend the current farm bill through January to allow the farm bill conferees to finish their work without the threat of permanent law implementation.

FDA to ask Drug Companies to Voluntarily Stop Providing Drugs to Animal Ag

The FDA says it’s going to ask drug companies to voluntarily STOP marketing drugs that are key to treating human infections….for use in animals processed for MEAT CONSUMPTION.

“The major part of this initiative is to bring the remaining uses under veterinary supervision and it’s a big shift from the current situation where the animal producers can go to the local feed store and buy these products over the counter and there is no vet medical oversight at all.”

Michael Taylor of the FDA says that would help limit anti-biotic resistant diseases in people. The phase out of the over-the-counter access to the antibiotics at feed stores will take three years.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.