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AgMag BLOG

Feeding your mind, saving the planet >>

The Latest from AgMag

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The agriculture provisions of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) open two loopholes that threaten to let coal-fired power plants and other big climate polluters off the hook and slow progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, January 8, 2009

As Congress and the incoming Obama administration plan the nation’s next major investments in green energy, they need to take a hard, clear-eyed look at Department of Energy data documenting corn-based ethanol’s stranglehold on federal renewable energy tax credits and subsidies.

Key Issues: 
Friday, January 2, 2009

Congress's proposed "increase" in Environmental Quality Incentives Program funding is really a cut of $285 million from what was promised in the 2008 farm bill. Without proper conservation funding, few resources are available to mitigate the environmental damage caused by modern commodity crop agriculture.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, January 1, 2009

Growth Energy, a consortium of ethanol producers, petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to allow 50% more ethanol in gasoline than is currently permitted in a move designed to expand the market for corn ethanol. EWG's review of available scientific data finds that such an increase in fuel ethanol content may involve multiple human health and safety hazards, a risk of increased air pollution and potential engine damage.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, December 11, 2008

With these comments, EWG directs the California Air Resources Board’s attention to deficiencies in the Climate Change Proposed Scoping Plan with respect to agriculture. At present, the Plan undervalues both the current role of agriculture in global warming emissions and the capacity of the sector to reduce these emissions.

Key Issues: 
Monday, September 8, 2008

Behind the thin green gloss Congressional leaders spread across the subsidy-laden 2008 farm bill, key Democratic lawmakers are hacking away at promises to expand conservation and other environmental programs. Without proper conservation funding, few resources are available to mitigate the environmental damage caused by modern commodity crop agriculture.

Key Issues: 
Friday, August 29, 2008

U.S. farmers are planting fence-row-to-fence-row to produce enough corn to supply ethanol plants and at the same time meet burgeoning demand for food and feed crops. The intensification of corn production—spurred in large part by exploding ethanol production—threatens to exacerbate global warming and harm water quality, water supply, and wildlife habitat. Read the Report

Key Issues: 
Monday, June 16, 2008

When the Bush administration and Congress required gasoline refiners to blend in 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol by 2015, they made the impossibly rosy assumption that American farmers would always enjoy good weather. But as every farmer knows, years with perfect growing conditions are uncommon and getting more rare.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, March 20, 2008

 

Letter sent by a coalition of environmental groups, including EWG, to congressional leadership requesting support of the March 18, 2008 Farm Bill “Framework’s” $4.951 billion increase in new funds above baseline for the bill’s voluntary, incentives-based conservation programs.

 
Key Issues: 
Monday, October 1, 2007

The concentrated, predictable, repetitive nature of agricultural disaster aid among a few states with perennially poor growing conditions raises the question of whether the time has come for states to assume a primary role in providing agricultural disaster assistance within their borders.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Due to lax standards and implementation problems, USDA's conservation compliance program is missing cost-effective opportunities to make further, substantial reductions in cropland soil erosion and agriculture-related toxic run-off. Conservation compliance is critical to mitigating the damage agriculture related pollution does to streams, waterways and the Gulf of Mexico.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, July 26, 2007

On balance, this House farm bill will be remembered as a missed opportunity for reform of federal farm policies that are broken at their core. It also represents a failure of House leadership to serve the broader needs of the nation, instead of taking their cues at every turn from the farm subsidy lobby.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Black farmers receive between one-third to one-sixth of the benefits under major federal crop subsidy programs that other farmers receive, and the “subsidy gap” has widened over the past decade.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

For decades, the farm subsidy lobby has claimed that if the producers it represents could earn their living in the marketplace, support provided by taxpayers through periodic "farm bills" could be invested instead in such perennially short-changed priorities as conservation, nutrition assistance for low income Americans, and rural development.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, June 12, 2007

For the first time, USDA has tracked subsidy benefits as they pass through tens of thousands of farm business entities—agribusiness cooperatives, partnerships, joint ventures and corporations—and has assigned virtually all farm subsidy 'benefits' to individuals.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Every year, the Central Valley Project moves more than 2 trillion gallons of water - about 18 percent of California's fresh water supply - to thousands of farms in the state's arid heartland. Massive pumps push the water through 1,437 miles of canals.

Key Issues: 
Saturday, March 17, 2007

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) today (March 17) unveiled legislation to reauthorize child nutrition programs and increase nutrition funding by $4.5 billion over 10 years. Of the total, $1.2 billion would increase the number of children who receive food and $3.2 billion would go toward delivering higher quality meals intended to fight childhood obesity.

Key Issues: 
Monday, September 25, 2006

This  year millions of dollars of emergency agricultural disaster aid will go to the very same farmers and ranchers who have collected it every other year, or more frequently, for decades.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A new EWG analysis identifies more than 1.2 million prospective recipients of a proposed $1.5 billion crop subsidy bonus contained in HR 4939, The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery of 2006.

Key Issues: 
Sunday, April 9, 2006

For over 20 years, scientists have documented the appearance of a summertime "Dead Zone" that all but obliterates marine life in what is arguably the nation's most important fishery, the Gulf of Mexico. Each year the Dead Zone grows to an area that is roughly the size of New Jersey - ranging from 5,000 to 8,000 square miles.

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