A Member of Trump's Cabinet Will Visit Modesto on Sunday, and You're Invited

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Sonny Perdue, agriculture secretary for President Donald Trump, will pay his first visit to Modesto on Sunday.

Perdue will take part in a 2:30 p.m. discussion at the West Campus of Modesto Junior College, open to the public. The hour-long program is sponsored by the California Farm Bureau Federation and will be moderated by President Paul Wenger, a Modesto-area nut grower.

The secretary is a former Georgia governor and state lawmaker who also has worked as a veterinarian and in agribusiness.

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The Farm Bill Presents a Chance to Lighten the Regulatory Burden of Farmers

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The Trump administration has taken the lead on reducing the crushing regulatory burden on farmers and ranchers, and it’s time for Congress to do its part by reforming the laws that created this regulatory burden in the first place. The next farm bill, expected to be considered in 2018, provides the best opportunity to make this happen in a very long time. Congress shouldn't let this opportunity slip by.

Talk to farmers and there’s one thing you will consistently hear: the federal government is creating regulatory obstacles that are making it very difficult for them to produce the food that helps to feed this nation and the world. The regulatory problem in agriculture is widespread, impacting small and large farmers alike, as well as farmers across different commodities and across the entire country.

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US EPA To Review Clean Air Act & Clean Water Act in Search of "Regulatory Burdens"

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As part of the measures following from US President Donald Trump’s executive order issued back in March calling for the easing of “regulatory burdens” on the energy industry, the US Environmental Protection Agency will be reviewing the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, amongst others, it was announced last Wednesday.

Specifically, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be reviewing how the two bedrock laws in question, as well as others, impact the energy industry and recent job losses. The aim is apparently to “reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens” on business.

“We are working to curb unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens that do not serve the American people,” explained EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a statement.

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California OK's Fire Disaster Loan Guarantees, Microloans

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The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank’s (IBank) board of directors on Oct. 25 approved a new Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Fund Program and an expanded microloan program to assist businesses affected by the wildfires in Sonoma County and other state declared disaster areas at Tuesday’s meeting in Sacramento.

Just days after the wildfires devastated areas of Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) reached out to the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to seek out financial assistance for county businesses impacted by the fires, according to Al Lerma, EDB director of business development and innovation.

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A Shrunken Delta Tunnels Project? Decision Time Is Upon California

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A new option has entered the discussion of Delta water supplies: one cross-Delta tunnel instead of two.

For now, California’s WaterFix proposal, pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown, is for two tunnels under-crossing the Delta for 35 miles, allowing up to 60 percent of Delta water exports to come from the main channel of Sacramento River. Implementing such a major project requires extraordinary political and financial support that so far is lacking.

Delta water users involved in WaterFix have failed to reach consensus on the project and how it would be funded. The Westlands Water District voted against funding the WaterFixand the Santa Clara Valley Water District voted for a scaled-back project. President Donald Trump’s Interior Department offered an ambivalent statement on the project Wednesday, further adding to the confusion.

Under these conditions, the WaterFix project could shrink to become a single-tunnel state-only project supported mostly by urban water users and some Tulare basin agricultural contractors.

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