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Jonathan Coppess

Author Archive | Jonathan Coppess

Drinking from the Well of Political Thought, Part 1

These are challenging times for policy; intense partisan and ideological polarization pervades the land, serving to confound the policies that should connect citizens and shaking confidence in the representatives elected to craft them. A recent poll found that 85 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing; two-in-ten people think Congress fails to […]

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The Japanese beef market’s lessons for trade policy

For ten consecutive years, Japan has increased its meat consumption; consumption increased by 3.4 percent last year over the previous year to produce the highest level of growth in five years. Beef consumption, in particular, is expected to grow nearly 4 percent this year after two straight years of decline. Japan is already one of […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 3: Reasonableness of the Interpretation

Today’s article completes the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Parts one and two in this series provided background on the RFS, a general review of the final rule and questioned EPA’s definition of the word ‘supply.’ This article delves into whether EPA’s interpretation in general can be considered reasonable […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 2: the Meaning of the Word “Supply”

This article continues the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The previous article in this series provided background on the RFS and a general review of the final rule. This article looks specifically at EPA’s interpretation of the word “supply” in the waiver provision “inadequate domestic supply” and what Congress […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 1: the Rule and Background

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published the final rule that establishes the volume requirements for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Previous discussions about EPA’s arguments for use of the general waiver authority in the RFS statute reviewed a leaked version of the proposed rule and the proposed […]

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Holiday Spirits: Notes from the Bourbon Trail

Good fortune recently provided me a brief, pre-holiday detour on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail with my dad and brothers. The amber of the value-added agricultural products and the informative tours included a few interesting bits of farm policy and history – starting with the fact that our visit (unintentionally) coincided with the 82nd anniversary of the […]

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Thinking about the Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit and the History of Drainage

In March 2015, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) filed a lawsuit against three Iowa drainage districts because of nitrate problems in Des Moines drinking water supplies. It alleges the nitrates have leached out of farm fields, through drainage district tiles, and ended up in the city’s drinking water supply. In July, the water utility reported […]

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Reviewing USDA’s Revised Conservation Compliance Regulation

On Friday, April 24, 2015, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) published its regulation for attaching conservation compliance to the portion of premium covered by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), known as premium subsidy. Section 2611 of the 2014 Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) made Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetlands conservation compliance provisions […]

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