TFI 2010: By Air And By Land

Every initiative The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) undertakes is designed to benefit the agriculture community and provides it the tools necessary to produce bountiful crops to feed a growing nation and world. Fertilizer is a precious resource that plays a critical role in world food production. Throughout all of its programs, TFI remains focused on sharing the big picture story — fertilizer as a strategic commodity — while continuously emphasizing its greater role in contributing to world food production. During the first year of the 111th Congress, TFI was busy representing the industry on numerous legislative and regulatory issues of importance to the industry, such as climate change and security.

On June 26, the U.S. House of Re­presentatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2998) by a vote of 219 to 212. Within a few months, the Senate had followed suit and its Environment and Public Works Committee favorably reported the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733), the first step in the Senate toward enacting climate change legislation.

Bad Bills

Throughout the year, TFI walked the halls of Congress and testified on several occasions to emphasize that, as written, these bills will render the U.S. nitrogen industry uncompetitive against nations without climate policies and threaten to force fertilizer production overseas to countries that do not regulate emissions resulting in a loss both for the economy and for the cause of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

“We believe that these bills may result in fuel switching, which has the potential to drive up the price of natural gas,” says TFI President Ford West. “Every $3 increase in the price of natural gas adds more than $1 billion to the cost of nitrogen production.”

TFI also believes that U.S. growers can play an important role in the reduction of climate change related emissions. Nevertheless, H.R. 2998 lists several agricultural practices to avoid or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that reflect a lack of understanding of the science behind the nitrogen cycle and the essential role of plant nutrients in food production. “TFI was pleased to see that agricultural offset language (S. 2729) introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and six democrat co-sponsors uses science-based recommendations to promote best management practices for the application of fertilizer inputs.”

TFI continues to work with members of the Senate to promote legislative language that implements a climate change policy which preserves the United States’ ability to compete in a global marketplace while reducing GHG emissions to protect the environment.

In lieu of Congress taking action on climate change, EPA in December announced its proposed endangerment finding for GHGs, which seeks to provide EPA with the authority to regulate GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This proposed regulation could have serious implications for the agricultural sector and will be closely monitored by TFI.

Security

While the Senate approved legislation to extend by one year the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) authority to regulate chemical facilities, the House considered legislation to expand legislative language to include a mandate for inherently safer technology (IST), an engineering process which evaluates all systems within an operation to determine if there could be a “safer” technology used, whether a part, valve, motor or even a product used. The Chemical Facility Antiterrorism Act of 2009 (H.R. 2868) was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 230 to 193.

TFI registered its opposition to the provision noting that if the IST mandate and assessments as contained in this legislation are made law, they could well jeopardize the availability of widely used, lower-cost sources of essential plant nutrient products used by America’s farmers and ranchers.

“The fertilizer industry considers homeland security to be a top priority and has a long-standing record of promoting safety and security of its products through their production, storage, transport and use,” says West. “We don’t have to trade food security for chemical security and TFI is optimistic that we can work with members of the Senate to craft chemical security legislation that takes into account our nation’s food production system.”

A bill similar to the House passed version is currently being drafted in the Senate by members of the Home­land Security Committee, who will most likely have primary jurisdiction of the legislation.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementWashington Visit and Bayer/Monsanto Deal Update
May 26, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discusses a recent trip to DC and the latest news on the proposed pairing Read More
Fertilizer closeup in hand
Industry NewsVerdesian: Striking A Balance Between Yield & ROI
May 26, 2016
Finely tuned nutrient management plans are helping farmers throughout the U.S. improve nutrient use efficiency, increase return on investment (ROI) Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Announces Minnesota Water Quality Pa…
May 25, 2016
Governor Mark Dayton and Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski today announced a new public-private partnership to protect Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Establishes Global Headquarters In R…
May 25, 2016
Arysta LifeScience has announced plans to relocate its global headquarters from West Palm Beach, FL, to Cary, NC, over the Read More
fertilizer blending and storage, Top 100
BlendersCHS Dakota Expansion Features AGCO’s GSI InterSys…
May 25, 2016
The continued growth of precision agriculture has increased farmer use of customized fertilizer blends best-suited for their soil conditions. Several Read More
ManagementAgriculture 3.5: A Bumpy Road Ahead
May 24, 2016
You may have read my article a few years ago on Agriculture 3.0, which is a term I coined to Read More
Topcon’s X30 display with CropSpec sensors
EquipmentGPS Autosteer Systems: Product Updates From Precision A…
May 24, 2016
Throughout 2015 GPS Steering solutions continued to evolve from what was once an after-market add on, to today’s cab where Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Eric Wintemute, AMVAC
Precision AgAMVAC Ups The Ante With New Precision Ag Technology
May 24, 2016
A potentially industry-changing at-plant soil treatment system from American Vanguard Corp., or AMVAC, is coming soon to large growers in Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
CropLife 100CropLife 100 Map
May 24, 2016
The new CropLife 100 map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of the 2015 CropLife 100 retailers. The interactive Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Corn Field
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Names Veteran Account Manager To Lead Central…
May 23, 2016
With the continuing growth of the sulphur bentonite and precision crop nutrient industry, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has announced that Read More
Bayer sign
Industry NewsReuters: Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto…
May 23, 2016
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Hires Industry Veteran To Lead Plant N…
May 19, 2016
Compass Minerals has hired plant nutrition industry veteran Vatren Jurin to steer the company’s portfolio expansion into specialty liquid micronutrient Read More
ASMARK Retailers LIVE! Tour 2016 Group shot The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From HC2
May 19, 2016
The Andersons, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has rejected two non-binding, highly conditional, unsolicited proposals from HC2 Read More
glyphosate
Crop InputsWHO: Glyphosate ‘Unlikely’ To Cause Cancer
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter Kate Kelland: The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, Read More