As one of the most conservative Senators in Colorado as evidenced by ratings from the Principals of Liberty and the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, I wanted to share with you why so many people support Amendment 71, also known as “Raise the Bar.” Continue reading →
Colorado is at the heart of agricultural trade in America, bringing high quality meat and vegetables to people throughout the country and beyond. As a native of Colorado, a lifelong rancher and State Senator chairing the committee that deals with agriculture , I have seen firsthand the widespread benefits of our beef, pork, vegetables and other agricultural exports. Trade is truly a cornerstone of Colorado’s economy, and our products support families statewide. In order to bolster our economy and help workers across Colorado, we need the Trans-Pacific Partnership to pass this year.
Like the EPA, Colorado’s environmental regulatory agency is exceeding its authority and wasting taxpayer funds
By Senator Jerry Sonnenberg
With the full support of Governor Hickenlooper, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is refusing to fully honor the U.S. Supreme Court’s February 9 stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan.” Republicans in the legislature are trying to stop the agency from wasting taxpayer dollars pursuing a plan that’s not required by any federal environmental mandate—nor authorized by Colorado statute. Continue reading →
The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, are set on a destructive path in their quest for clean power. Determined to blaze a legacy trail for President Obama, EPA and CDPHE don’t care who gets harmed in the process of implementing the Clean Power Plan. Quite apart from the questionable legality of the rule, let’s consider the social and economic damage this plan will wreak on Colorado’s communities. Continue reading →
The last week of February was a tough one for agriculture. I am not speaking of low commodity prices or weather conditions, but rather the loss of four icons and proven leaders in our industry….Bill Wailes, Charlie Bartlett, Ben Houston & Diane Hoppe. Continue reading →
Last month, President Obama published his sweeping new carbon regulations on new and existing power plants. This federal overreach will hit every corner of the Centennial State, endangering the livelihoods of Colorado families while promising higher energy prices and lost jobs.
Despite this looming threat, the federal government is suggesting adding insult to injury. Under the final rule, U.S. EPA claims one way Colorado could comply is a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Taxing CO2, and by extension most of the energy we use, would send electricity prices soaring, destroy thousands of jobs, and undermine Colorado’s economic competitiveness. Continue reading →
WASHINGTON — Today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack announced the recipients of federal grants through the Biofuel Infrastructure Program (BIP). Last month, Secretary Vilsack announced that 21 states had been selected to participate in the matching grants program, which aims to give consumers greater access to higher ethanol blends by investing up to $100 million in biofuel blender pumps. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen applauded USDA for its continued investment in biofuels:
“USDA in general and Secretary Vilsack particular are to be commended for providing consistent, concerted, and courageous leadership when it comes to investing in American energy,” said Dinneen. “These matching grants will inject the capital that is needed to build out the infrastructure that is critical for increasing consumer access to higher ethanol blends. Today’s announcement by USDA underscores the importance of having the private sector invest in our nation’s biofuels industry. Our hope is that EPA is watching and paying close attention.” Continue reading →
WASHINGTON (October 27, 2015) – In response to a proposed $3 billion cut in crop insurance support as part of a larger budget deal, the American Soybean Association issued a strong defense of the nation’s farm program and called on Congress to oppose any reopening of the farm bill. ASA President Wade Cowan, a soybean farmer from Brownfield, Texas, noted that agriculture remains the only industry segment that has come forward and voluntarily accepted spending reductions, and urged lawmakers to seek cuts elsewhere: Continue reading →
NATIONAL WESTERN CENTER WILL BE POSITIVE FOR COLORADO
It was an honor for me to sponsor and advocate for HB 1344 this year in the senate that inked a partnership between the State of Colorado and CSU to secure lease purchase agreements for up to $250 million dollars to finance the construction of new facilities at the proposed National Western Center.
As a native son of northeastern Colorado from a multi-generational farming and ranching family who has dedicated their lives to growing wheat, corn, sunflowers, millet and raising cattle – I recognize the importance of the future National Western Center and the need to preserve Colorado’s Western heritage and our agricultural traditions. Continue reading →
Washington Ozone Plan Jeopardizes Northern Colorado Jobs
As a farmer and a state legislator, I watch with great concern as more and more regulations come out of Washington, D.C. – and especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rather than focus on its core mission, the EPA is trying to micromanage state and local economies instead. The agency is so distracted, it can’t get the basics right. Just ask the communities of Southwestern Colorado, where a huge spill of mining waste was caused by the federal agency that’s supposed to protect the environment.
Unfortunately the EPA’s role in our state, and especially in Northern Colorado, is about to get much bigger. By Oct. 1 – just a few weeks away – the Obama administration plans to dramatically tighten the federal ozone standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) down into the range of 65 to 70 ppb. A report by the Center for Regulatory Solutions (CRS) concludes the new range would throw at least 15 Colorado counties into violation, or “non-attainment,” of federal air quality laws. Those counties – including Weld, Larimer, Boulder and Adams – represent almost 90 percent of the state economy and 85 percent of Colorado’s jobs. Continue reading →
My family has been involved in water issues and finding better ways to irrigate and conserve water since the 60’s. Even then, we knew that water storage was the key to the future water needs in Colorado. Even then, we knew that if we didn’t do anything to keep Colorado’s water in Colorado, agriculture would be the avenue our urban cousins would pursue to meet their thirsty needs.
This spring – for two months – roughly 20,000 A/ft per day flowed out of this state. That amounts to somewhere near 1 ½ million acre/ft of water that could have been stored. Not too long ago, we allowed nearly the same amount to flow by over a two year period. Continue reading →
NMPF Asks EPA, Army Corps to Suspend National Enforcement of New Water Regulation Pending Resolution of Court Cases
ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation urged the Obama Administration to hold off on the national enforcement of the new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation, in response to a court decision last week suspending the regulation in some states, but not others.Continue reading →
NCGA Supports North Dakota Court Decision, Urges Senate Action on WOTUS
WASHINGTON (August 28, 2015) – Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, postponing implementation of the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule. Continue reading →
EPA Proposes Changes to the Federal Regulations for the Certification and Training of Pesticide Applicators. EPA is accepting comments on the proposal until November 23, 2015. The 90-day public comment period has started for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for pesticide applicators who apply restricted use pesticides. Continue reading →
WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released the following statement in response to a press release issued by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), in which the group calls on motorcycle riders to support legislation that would amend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by prohibiting gas stations from selling fuel that contains more than 10 percent ethanol, and requiring those that are already selling higher ethanol blends to cease. Continue reading →
Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced today that they have sent a letter to Arthur A. Elkins, Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), demanding answers to several pressing questions related to the EPA’s spilling of wastewater into the Animas River.
(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) August 10, 2015 – I was invited to participate in an interview with Ron Carleton, former CO Deputy Ag Commissioner and current Counselor to the EPA Administrator on Agricultural Policy about numerous issues including:
Clean Power Plan
Renewable Fuels Standard
LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW BELOW
*I apologize for the poor audio quality – new voice recorder not working correctly*
Gov. Hickenlooper declares disaster emergency for Gold King Mine release
DENVER — Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today issued an Executive Order that declares a state of disaster emergency due to the Gold King Mine release and resulting impacts to downstream waters. The order allocates $500,000 from the state’s Disaster Emergency Fund to pay for the response and technical assessments. Continue reading →
WASHINGTON (August 3, 2015) – Internal memos released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reveal the Army Corps of Engineers, the primary regulator over Environmental Protection Agency’s “waters of the United States” rule, believes that the rule will not hold up in the courts and that it grossly misinterprets Corps data.
“Corps data to EPA has been selectively applied out of context, and mixes terminology and disparate data sets,” one memo from General Peabody to Assistant Secretary of the Army reads. “In the Corps judgement, these documents contain numerous inappropriate assumptions with no connection to the data provided, misapplied data, analytical deficiencies and logical inconsistencies.” Continue reading →
In comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today, the National Corn Growers Association highlighted the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and urged the Agency to restore the 2014-16 corn ethanol volume to statute.
In the comments, NCGA states, “The RFS has spurred growth in agriculture, increased energy diversity and decreased GHG emissions from fossil fuels through the development of renewable energy resources. … We urge the Agency to stay the course and support this important piece of transformational energy policy, and we request it reconsider its proposed reduction in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 renewable volume obligations.”
In a letter accompanying NCGA’s comments, NCGA President Chip Bowling writes, “The RFS is doing exactly what it was intended to do. It is successfully driving the adoption of renewable fuel alternatives to petroleum, supporting jobs across the country, and ensuring the United States remains a global leader in developing new renewable energy sources while decreasing GHG emissions here at home. … [We are asking the EPA to] provide regulatory certainty to the most successful renewable fuel program in place. The continued stability and health of the rural economy and the nation’s environmental improvements hinge upon your decision.”