Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
Gutknecht Introduces Renewable Fuels Act of 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Gil Gutknecht, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Dairy, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth today introduced the Renewable Fuels Act of 2005, H.R. 3081, in the House. Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Ranking Minority Member Collin Peterson, Congressman Tom Osborne, and Congressman Jerry Moran joined in introducing the bipartisan legislation.
The Renewable Fuels Act would establish a renewable fuels standard of eight billion gallons by 2012. It would also call on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to monitor the supply and demand of renewable fuels, report on the economic impact renewable fuels production has on rural America, consult with the United States Department of Energy on renewable fuels blending and strengthen USDA’s Bioenergy Program, which promotes agricultural commodities as sources of ethanol and biodiesel.
“As gas prices continue to rise, renewable fuels are not part of the problem. They’re part of the solution,” Rep. Gutknecht said. “By implementing a national renewable fuels standard, we can lower fuel costs, enhance our environment and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. The good news is we have farmers all across the Midwest who are producing renewable fuels, including ethanol and biodiesel.”
Rep. Herseth said, “Renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are clean, homegrown energy sources that decrease our dependence on foreign oil, enhance our national security, and drive rural agricultural economies. For all of these reasons, Congress should care about renewable fuels, and renewable fuels should be a major component in our nation’s long-term energy policy.”
Chairman Goodlatte added, “The renewable fuels standard, the hallmark provision of this bill, opens the door to new economic opportunities in congressional districts across the country. I support the use of products such as forestry biomass, livestock waste and commodities such as sugar cane and beets, wheat, corn and soybeans, in the manufacture of renewable fuels, and I intend to work hard as the chairman of the Agriculture Committee to ensure that we continue to have an affordable and ample supply of feed for our livestock producers.”