Could Gina McCarthy be Replaced by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt at EPA?
Several Oklahomans are being mentioned as in contention for spots within the Donald Trump Administration, as work to identify more members of the Trump Cabinet picks up speed after Thanksgiving. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is listed as one of the first names in the latest group of potentials for Administrator of the EPA. He and Kathleen White– the former head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality- both meet with Trump later today. They are the first names mentioned by Politico for the EPA job.
One thing is for certain- with either of these picks- we would be talking about a dramatic change at the top of this agency compared to Gina McCarthy. The hard part for the new Administrator will be to change the culture of the EPA once they walk in the door. That may be like changing the course of an oil tanker with a paddle.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is being seen as a serious contender for the Department of Interior Secretary. She is the first name mentioned in the Politico analysis as a candidate for Interior- Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm is the last name mentioned of the nine contenders listed for Interior- which also includes Sarah Palin, who Politico calls “increasingly seen as a long shot pick.”
Hamm is the first name mentioned by Politico for the Secretary of Energy job- but they do acknowledge that the Chairman of Continental Resources has signaled he will stay here in Oklahoma.
There is a third Oklahoma politician being mentioned for a Trump Administration job- former Senator Tom Coburn is one of three names that have been kicked around for the top job at OMB- the Office of Management and Budget. Can you imagine what kind of reports we would be getting out of OMB if Senator Coburn gets that bully pulpit? Wow!
Read more on the Trump Cabinet picks and possibles- click or tap here.
EPA Releases RFS Volumes, Sets Ethanol Target at Statute
Just ahead of Thanksgiving, the Environmental Protection Agency released the final Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements for 2017, setting the conventional biofuel volume-which includes ethanol-at the statute level of 15 billion gallons. That represents an increase from 14.8 billion gallons in the proposed rule and sets the standards in line with bipartisan Congressional intent when the RFS was put into law. Pro-ethanol groups applauded the move by the EPA as it followed series of years in which the EPA undercut the statute set volume levels under the RFS. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor
said the final rule “validates the critical importance of cleaner burning, less expensive biofuels,” like ethanol. Click here
to read Skor’s full remarks.
“Today the EPA moved in the right direction by increasing the 2017 ethanol volume to statute. This is critical for farmers facing difficult economic times, as well as for consumers who care about clean air, affordable fuel choices, and lowering our dependence on foreign oil,” said Texas farmer Wesley Spurlock
, president of the National Corn Growers Association. Click here
to read his full comments.
“The levels announced today provide opportunities but also do not take full advantage of an opportunity to further promote a viable, domestically produced renewable fuel industry that is U.S. biodiesel,” said ASA President Richard Wilkins
, a soybean farmer from Greenwood, Delaware. Click here
to read Wilkins entire thoughts on EPA’s decision.
It’s great to welcome the Livestock Exchange at the Oklahoma National Stockyards as a new sponsor for our daily email. The eight Commission firms at the Stockyards make up the exchange- and they are committed to work hard to get you top dollar when you consign your cattle with them. They will present your cattle to the buyers gathered each Monday or Tuesday at one of the largest stocker and feeder cattle auctions in the world.
for a complete list of the Commission firms that make up the Livestock Exchange at the Oklahoma National Stockyards- still the best place to sell your cattle- and at the heart of Stockyards City, where you can go around the corner enjoy a great steak and shop for the very best in western wear.
| Sen. Jim Inhofe Blasts EPA for RFS Decision, Calls Program “Broken”
US Senator Jim Inhofe
, chairman of the US Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, this week released a statement in response to the EPA’s final Renewable Fuel Standards for 2017:
“Today’s announcement from the EPA once again demonstrates how broken the RFS is,” Inhofe said. “Though EPA has acknowledged the realities of the blendwall, increasing mandated corn-ethanol volumes is not the appropriate response. Continuing to mandate more ethanol into the fuel supply comes at the expense of Oklahoma’s refiners and consumers. It is essential we repeal or reform the RFS in the coming Congress.”
To read further statements released by the Senator’s office throughout the year regarding RFS, click here
|Cattle Trade in the 21st Century – Superior’s Kurtis Ward Talks New Online Auction Site, Fed Cattle Exchange
Last week, I met with Kurtis Ward
, executive vice president of Superior Livestock, who has been working closely with industry leaders to help alleviate this volatility and ultimately fix the issue in a way that meets modern demand and convenience in today’s trade.
It was earlier this year after a proposal for an online venue to sell fat cattle was made during the Livestock Marketing Committee meeting at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association convention, that Superior’s FedCattleExchange.com was born, says Ward.
“I really thought the idea had merit,” Ward said. “After having several meetings with industry participants, cattle feeders, packers alike, we put together this online fat cattle cash auction that’s called Fed Cattle Exchange.”
The website rolled out in May of this year. After some trial and error, Ward says he is proud to report that the site has had its best month yet this November with 31,964 cattle sold during the Wednesday sales in November- and the latest weighted average price last Wednesday hitting $109.14.
“We’re hoping that Fed Cattle Exchange will be at least one of the components that allows the cash trade to be more transparent midweek and maybe one of these days we’ll be able to go to auction more than one day a week.”
To read more about Fed Cattle Exchange and for a chance to listen to my full conversation with Ward, click here.
| Slaughter Data Suggests Herd Expansion in the US Moderating
Although beef cattle inventory numbers will not be available until January, it looks like 2016 will be a year of only moderate herd expansion. Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel
explains where he sees the US cattle herd going as we move into the new year.
“We’re not growing as aggressively,” Peel said, pointing to indicators in slaughter data. “I think we’ve slowed down the rate of growth here on an annual basis in 2016. It’s just getting back to a more normal level this year compared to the very low level we had last year.”
Despite the braking expansion, Dr. Peel says he is still anticipating some growth in the beef cow herd. Overall though, he believes things will begin plateauing as we approach the new year.
“I think we may be largely done with expansion going into 2017,” Peel said. “We might still see a little bit, perhaps a half a percent. My expectation is it will be around 31 million beef cows coming into 2017.”
We are pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update. On both the state and national levels, full-time staff members serve as a “watchdog” for family agriculture producers, mutual insurance company members and life company members.
|Soybean Association Cheers Court Ruling Favoring Science-Based System
Following a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the case of Anderson v. EPA
this week, the American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomed a significantly positive development in the ongoing fight to protect farmers’ rights to use proven-safe seed treatments. In the court, the ruling sided with EPA and an industry coalition of intervenors including ASA, CropLife America, American Seed Trade Association, Agricultural Retailers Association, National Cotton Council of America, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Corn Growers Association in confirming that additional regulation would unnecessarily duplicate EPA’s existing science-based regulatory review.
“Monday’s ruling is a big step forward in the push for a science-based system,” ASA President Richard Wilkins, who farms in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in Greenwood, Delaware. The federal ruling underscores how activists use lawsuits to force duplicative additional regulations to tie up farmer productivity. Our farmers make their decisions based on science, and as such, need regulations based on that same sound science. We appreciate the ruling today, and hope that it will signal a respect for pragmatic regulation moving forward.”
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|Oklahoma Horsemen Among Those Crowned Champions, as AQHA World Championships Wrap Up
Several Oklahoma horsemen competing at the American Quarter Horse Association World Championships, were recognized for their performance this past week, taking some well-deserved titles home with them.
of Locust Grove, Oklahoma, captured the world championship title in amateur breakaway roping. Hartness showed the American Quarter Horse Heartbrace owned by Katie Browning
of Locust Grove, Oklahoma. The 2005 bay roan gelding, sired by Bobs San Lena and out of Uno Miss Priss, was bred by J.L. Quarter Horses of Earlsboro, Oklahoma. In the amateur breakaway roping class, 34 entries competed for world champion honors and a purse of $6,944.13.
Kathryn Lyn Garen of Fletcher, Oklahoma, captured the world championship title in amateur barrels. Garen showed her American Quarter Horse Isaws A Mark. The 2009 palomino gelding, sired by PC Frenchmans Mark and out of Isaws Princess Lori, was bred by John and Cindy Baltezore of Beresford, South Dakota. In the amateur barrels class, 48 entries competed for world champion honors and a purse of $9,803.47.
Jordan Lesh of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Jared Lesh of Whitesboro, Texas, captured the world championship title in ranch sorting. Lesh showed his American Quarter Horse Mr Jazz Cat Bar. The 2004 sorrel gelding, sired by Mr Jay Bar Cat and out of Miss Sassy Jazz, was bred by Russell Allen Harrison of Wichita Falls, Texas. Lesh showed his American Quarter Horse My Genuine Cat. The 2009 chestnut mare, sired by High Brow Cat and out of A Genuine Playgun, was bred by Jerry Yelverton of Russellville, Arkansas. In the ranch sorting class, 120 entries competed for world champion honors and a purse of $46,389.84.
Lesh also, along with Terry Brooks of Blanchard, Oklahoma, captured the world championship title in amateur ranch sorting. Lesh showed his American Quarter Horse Thiscatsapeach. The 2010 sorrel mare, sired by WR This Cats Smart and out of Dual Peaches N Cream, was bred by Kenneth and Elyse Waters of Scottsdale, Arizona. Brooks showed his American Quarter Horse The Reyl Thing. The 2006 bay gelding, sired by Dual Rey and out of Hickorys Badgerina, was bred by Dan Churchill of Moline, Illinois. In the amateur ranch sorting class, 114 entries competed for world champion honors and a purse of $35,253.25.
The Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show is the pinnacle event for American Quarter Horse owners and exhibitors around the world, who must qualify for the event by earning a predetermined number of points to compete in each of the classes representing halter, English and western disciplines. More than 4,920 entries from the United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa and the United Kingdom are competing for 99 world championships and 83 Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) Level 2 championship titles at this year’s event, November 3-19 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.
For a complete list of the champions crowned, click here
|This N That- Snow???? and a Final Horse Call
Jed Castles with News9 in Oklahoma City has his brand new and shiny Nine Day Forecast out this morning- and he sees some cold fronts that could deliver moisture into Oklahoma this week- and a chance for the S word to show up this coming weekend.
Here is the graphic from Jed, which talks about a possibly wet and raw Bedlam this coming weekend in Norman:
MEANWHILE– we have had storms with decent amounts of rainfall rolling across southern and southeastern Oklahoma- helping some of our drought stricken Little Dixie locations- 24 hour rainfall totals as of 6 AM this morning include 1.36 inches of rain in Madill and 1.39 inches of rain in Hugo.
Click here for the real time Mesonet rainfall map for the last 24 hours.
We are still looking for one more horse that can be used by Craig Cameron during his horse training sessions at the 2016 Tulsa Farm Show. The dates for the show are December 8-10.
Email me details of your horse and a cell phone or home phone number to reach you- click here to email me.