01-09-20 Tri-State CEO Hosts Press Call on Announcement of Closure of Craig Station, Colowyo Mine and Escalante Station

Tri-State CEO Hosts Press Call on Announcement of Closure of Craig Station, Colowyo Mine and Escalante Station

  • Tri-State provided further details on its closure of coal assets, including generation and mining, in Colorado and New Mexico.
  • Teleconference with Tri-State Chief Executive Duane Highley and Chief Financial Officer Pat Bridges held on Jan 9th at 1pm MT
  • Cooperative notes further details of its Responsible Energy Plan to be announced in mid-January 2020.

(January 9, 2020 – Westminster, Colorado) –Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association held anews teleconference at 1 p.m. MST today to provide details on the announcement of the closure of Escalante Station in New Mexico by the end of 2020, and the closure of Craig Station and Colowyo Mine in Northwest Colorado by 2030.

This morning, Tri-State’s employees and members were notified of the early retirement of the coal generation and mining assets. The closures are part of a larger Responsible Energy Plan that ensures compliance with Colorado and New Mexico laws and regulations, while also allowing Tri-State to continue to provide reliable, affordable, responsible power to its members and their communities in its four-state region. Additional details of this plan will be announced next week.

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01-09-20 BARN MEDIA – DECISION 2020: The Race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate Seat – John Hickenlooper

BARN MEDIA – DECISION 2020: The Race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate Seat – John Hickenlooper

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – January 9, 2020 – On August 22, 2019 after ending his presidential bid, John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor announced his candidacy for United States Senate seat currently held by U.S. Senator Cory Gardner.

Gov Hickenlooper joins the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast radio by telephone and covered several topics including:

  • 64 County Tour of Colorado Kick-off
  • Trade Issues (China & USMCA)
  • Energy – Oil & Gas Industry vs Renewable Energy
  • Thoughts on TSGTA’s Announcing Coal Plant Closings in Escalante, NM & Craig, CO
  • Rural Issues
  • Ag Labor Issues
  • Thoughts on the Pending Impeachment Trial in U.S. Senate
  • & More

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*DISCLAIMER – Opinions expressed within the interview do not  necessarily reflect the views of the host nor its sponsors*

01-09-20 U.S. Senator Cory Gardner’s Statement on Tri-State Announcement

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner’s Statement on Tri-State Announcement

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) released the following statement today regarding the news that Tri-State is closing Craig Station plant in Craig and the Colowyo Mine in northwest Colorado.

“This is terrible news for Craig and northwestern Colorado. These are well-paying jobs that for years have allowed surrounding rural communities to thrive. The people that live and work in Craig and northwestern Colorado are some of the toughest and most resilient people I know, and I look forward to working on their behalf in the coming years as we fight for jobs and opportunity for every area of Colorado, not just on the Front Range,” said Senator Gardner. Continue reading

01-09-20 CSU’s Inaugural Colorado Food Summit seeds rural-urban dialogue, collaboration

CSU’s Inaugural Colorado Food Summit seeds rural-urban dialogue, collaboration

“There is always something that binds us — and that is food and the land,” said Kate Greenberg, commissioner of Colorado’s Department of Agriculture, upon welcoming attendees to Colorado State University’s inaugural Colorado Food Summit on Jan. 7 in Denver.

The sold-out Summit drew more than 300 attendees from across Colorado, and included conversations resembling those that will happen at CSU System’s future Spur campus at the National Western Center.

“We might face different challenges today than we did 100 years ago, but we’ve had a tenacity and perseverance in agriculture that lives on today and carries us forward,” Greenberg continued.

Bridging rural-urban divides

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01-09-20 Unleash your inner cowboy or cowgirl at CSU Day at the NWSS

CSU Day at the NWSS stock photo

Unleash your inner cowboy or cowgirl at CSU Day at the NWSS

Once again, it’s time to don your boots, bust out your hat and sport your Ram pride as you head to Denver for the annual CSU Day at the National Western Stock Show.

The NWSS, Jan. 9-26 at the National Western Complex, was established in 1906 and features one of the largest indoor rodeos in the world. The agenda includes livestock exhibitions and judging, several rodeos, art exhibitions, live music, merchandise and dozens of food vendors.

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01-09-20 Colorado Governor Jared Polis State of the State Speech

Colorado Governor Jared Polis State of the State Speech

Gov. Jared Polis today delivered the 2020 State of the State address to the Colorado General Assembly.

“Colorado has always been a state of trailblazers. Ours is a state of can-do people. We don’t back down from a challenge, and we don’t quit when the going gets tough,” said Governor Polis in the address. “The state of our state is strong. It is forward-thinking. It is dynamic. It is bold. And it is courageous. Now let’s get to work and show the world what we can accomplish together.”

“Colorado siempre ha sido un estado de pioneros. Somos un estado de personas que pueden hacerlo todo. No retrocedemos ante un desafío y no renunciamos cuando las cosas se ponen difíciles “, dijo el gobernador Polis en el discurso. “La situación actual de nuestro estado es fuerte. Es progresista. Es dinámica. Es audaz. Y es valiente. Ahora vamos a trabajar y mostrarle al mundo lo que podemos lograr juntos “.

Read the text of the speech as prepared for delivery here. Watch the full speech here.

TRANSCRIPT

01-09-20 Tri-State announces retirement of all coal generation in Colorado and New Mexico

Tri-State announces retirement of all coal generation in Colorado and New Mexico

AUDIO FROM PRESS CONFERENCE CALL, courtesy of The BARN

Closures will result in 100% reduction of coal emissions in Colorado and New Mexico while increasing Tri-State’s competitiveness with cleaner portfolio, stable rates.
  • Major changes in generation portfolio include closure of Escalante Station near Prewitt, N.M., by end of 2020, and closure of Craig Station and Colowyo Mine in northwest Colorado by 2030.
  • Tri-State working with state and local leaders to support affected employees and communities, will seek legislation in Colorado to provide certainty on state greenhouse gas reduction rules.
  • Tri-State to announce other actions of its Responsible Energy Plan next week.
(January 9, 2020 – Westminster, Colo.) – Today, not-for-profit cooperative wholesale power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association announced the retirement of its remaining New Mexico coal-fired power plant by the end of 2020 and its remaining Colorado coal plants and coal mine by 2030.
Collectively, the closure of the power plants and mine will impact approximately 600 power plant and mine employees, who have been integral to Tri-State’s and its predecessor generation and transmission cooperatives’ ability to supply reliable and affordable power to cooperatives for decades.
“Serving our members’ clean energy and affordability needs, supporting state requirements and goals, and leading the fundamental changes in our industry require the retirement of our coal facilities in Colorado and New Mexico,” said Rick Gordon, chairman of the board of Tri-State and a director of Mountain View Electric Association in eastern Colorado. “As we make this difficult decision, we do so with a deep appreciation for the contributions of our employees who have dedicated their talents and energy to help us deliver on our mission to our members.”

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01-09-20 USDA, FDA, EPA Launch Website for Biotechnology Regulation

USDA, FDA, EPA Launch Website for Biotechnology Regulation

(Washington, D.C.,January 9, 2020) – Today, in recognition of January 2020 as National Biotechnology Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation. The Website streamlines information about the three regulatory agencies charged with overseeing agriculture biotechnology products and is part President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products.

“Agricultural biotechnology has been and will continue to be an essential tool in helping America’s farmers and ranchers feed, fuel, and clothe the world,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “From producers to consumers, all Americans deserve a government that delivers science-based, common-sense regulations that foster innovation, conserve resources, and protect public health—especially when it comes to the food supply. The launch of this unified Biotechnology Regulation website is proof of President Trump’s commitment to provide the American people with sensible regulations in a clear and transparent manner.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, January 9th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, January 9th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USMCA to face Additional Approvals in Senate

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement timeline remains uncertain. However, lawmakers in the certain seem certain they will pass the agreement, at the latest, following impeachment hearings. The House is still holding the articles of impeachment, alleging the Senate won’t agree to a fair trial. At issue is the Senate must make impeachment a priority. Depending on how long a further review of USMCA takes in the Senate, and how long House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds the articles of impeachment, will change the trajectory of USMCA. The Senate Finance Committee approved the agreement this week. However, a Senate parliamentarian has determined that eight other Senate committees must offer approval of the agreement. However, U.S. law states the agreement will be discharged from those committees in 15 days, regardless of approval. If Nancy Pelosi sends articles of impeachment to the Senate between now and whenever the committees approve the agreement, perhaps next week, the USMCA implementing legislation would have to wait until the impeachment trial is over, likely at the end of this month.

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China to Release Pork Reserves

Ahead of the Chinese New Year, China will release 20,000 metric tons of frozen pork in state-held reserves. China has previously released more than 100,000 metric tons of pork from state reserves since last month, seeking to stabilize supplies following impacts of African swine fever. A Chinese Agriculture Ministry official told the South China Morning Post this week that the African swine fever situation “is still severe and complex,” adding the risk of outbreaks rise with the increase of live hogs in the nation. China’s sow herd declined roughly 40 percent, perhaps more since the initial outbreak of ASF in the nation. However, Chinese officials say the herd has increased two percent in December. Restocking the herd poses the risk of recontamination, if efforts to eliminate the presence of the disease in pork producing facilities failed. However, for U.S. producers, China’s ASF troubles and the expected signing of a phase one trade agreement provide export opportunity. China is the largest producer and consumer of pork on the globe.

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NMPF Encouraged by Recent Labeling-related Actions

Heading into 2020, two major actions provide cause for optimism regarding a change in labeling enforcement at the Food and Drug Administration, according to the National Milk Producers Federation. First, the Senate confirmed Dr. Stephen Hahn to lead the FDA  December 12. In an exchange with Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, during his confirmation hearing, Dr. Hahn stated his support for “clear, transparent, and understandable labeling.” More recently, the House and Senate included language in the report accompanying the final Fiscal Year 2020 government funding measure to urge FDA to complete its job and enforce dairy-product standards. Both the House and Senate versions of the Agriculture-FDA bill report included language reaffirming bipartisan congressional concern with mislabeled imitation dairy products, and directs FDA to enforce its own rules on labeling. NMPF says this week that the report reaffirms Congress’s concern regarding products “that include the names of dairy products that do not contain milk or ingredients derived from milk,” as stated in Senate language.

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Toomey, Blumenthal, Announce Food Bank Bill

The new Food Donation Improvement Act of 2019 seeks to help food banks collect and distribute more food to needy families. The legislation was announced by Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut Wednesday. The Senators say new and innovative food assistance models repurpose items from donating entities and sell prepared dishes like microwavable dinners for a nominal cost. But federal law does not currently extend liability protections to food donors when food is either given directly to a person in need or when a recipient pays a deeply reduced cost. Specifically, the legislation would extend liability protections to food-donating entities and food banks for food sold at a reduced price. The bill also would extend liability protections to qualified donors who give food directly to needy individuals and families without going through a non-profit intermediary. Finally, the legislation requires the Department of Agriculture to issue regulations clarifying the quality and labeling standards donated food must meet.

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Farmland Market Continued Plateau in 2019

The land market in 2019 continued the plateau trend of the past several years, where the supply of agricultural land for sale on the market remained lower than average, and prices for good quality cropland held mostly steady. Farmers National Company says farmland sale activity in the first part of 2019 was slower than it had been for some time with late spring and early summer, especially void of farms for sale. Planting delays and prevent plantings contributed to the sluggish activity. However, despite the slower land market, Farmers National Company and its agents saw a 25 percent increase in acres sold in 2019 from the prior year and the most since 2014. Several factors will impact the 2020 land market, according to Randy Dickhut of Farmers National. He says Interest rates are low and are poised to remain so during the foreseeable future. Overall, he says, “agriculture is in adequate financial shape, but there are individual and regional concerns.”

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RFA: Ethanol Keeps Gas Prices Lower Amid High Oil Prices

Tensions in the Middle East are creating volatile oil markets, as the U.S. ethanol industry reminds drivers how biofuels keep gas prices lower. Oil prices fell on a potential de-escalation between the U.S. and Iran, after reaching a nine-month high this week. Still, analysts expect gas price increases to reach the pump in the days ahead. The Renewable Fuels Association says that at fuel terminals where gasoline is blended, ethanol is currently selling for 40-50 cents per gallon less than gasoline. As U.S. consumers brace for higher prices, a recent study shows the nation’s growing supply of ethanol significantly helps dampen gasoline price shocks that result from sudden oil market disruptions. The study says that if renewable fuels were removed from the fuel supply, gas prices would be more than $1 per gallon higher. RFA President and CEO Geoff Coopers says the recent tensions in the Middle East, and the recent study “highlights the critical need for greater domestic energy security and diversity.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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