New WOTUS Rules; WTO & U.S. Sovereignty
**The EPA will write a new definition of “waters of the U.S.” rules that is less expansive than the Obama administration’s rule that the agency is withdrawing.
That was the word from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Thursday in an exclusive Agri-Pulse interview.
Pruitt declined to estimate how long it would take for the agency to write a new WOTUS rule, which spells out what wetlands, streams, ditches and other land features are regulated by the Clean Water Act.
** The Trump administration announced a trade agenda that would make the U.S. less beholden to rulings by the World Trade Organization, stressing U.S. sovereignty should be the primary concern when it comes to international disputes.
In a major shift, the 2017 Trade Policy Agenda explaines that “even if a WTO dispute settlement panel rules against the United States, such a ruling does not automatically lead to a change in U.S. law or practice.
The report lays out a lengthy legal justification for weakening WTO constraints at a time when the U.S. is using the dispute settlement process to try to stop Chinese ag trade barriers.
** Ethanol already supplies over 10 percent of the U.S. gasoline market and the fuel’s share is growing.
Yet Texas Congressman Bill Flores, who wants to see ethanol capped at 9.7 percent of the market, is holding back on reintroducing a measure that would do just that.
The former oil company CEO says his legislation would amend the Clean Air Act by revising the Renewable Fuel Standard and its biofuels use mandates that Congress enacted in 2005.