What's ahead for Washington this week: Earth Day April 22!


p style="mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal">What's ahead for Washington this week: Earth Day April 22!

By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, April 18 - Literally, this week is all about Earth Day which will celebrate it's 40th anniversary April 22. If all goes well, the tri-partite Kerry-Graham-Lieberman climate bill will be unveiled on Earth Day, however, it may not be unveiled until later in the week.

Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, already the world's leading ethanol producer, also picked this week to announce his company's progress toward commercializing cellulosic ethanol. He'll outline the obstacles still blocking rapid development of new biofuels.

 Together we can feed the Bees

President Obama will be busy Wednesday finding ways to remove obstacles to appointing a new Supreme Court Justice to replace retiring Justice Stevens. Obama meets Wednesday with key Republicans as well as Democrats in his search for a nominee who's moderate enough to attract the Republican votes needed to avoid yet one more Senate filibuster.

Friday will bring an international perspective to Earth Day, with finance ministers from the G20 group of developed and developing economies meeting in Washington, to be followed by the two-day spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank. The focus will be on hammering out agreements designed to avoid any repeat of the global financial meltdown which demonstrated how interdependent the world's economies have become.

In another international development related to Earth Day, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will be in Washington meeting with Senate Energy Committee Chair Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) this week to discuss global climate change - and his views on how important U.S. leadership will be in averting global disaster.

One congressional highlight this week will be Wednesday's Senate Ag Committee mark-up of Chair Lincoln's financial reform bill promising to bring cleansing sunlight to the murky world of derivatives trading. On the same day, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will kick off the first 2012 Farm Bill hearing in Washington, by testifying before the House Agriculture Committee. Other congressional action this week includes:

Tuesday, April 20

  • House Agriculture Committee hearing on dairy policy at Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, Harrisburg, PA
  • Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on FY 2011 USAID budget with Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah
  • Senate Energy Committee hearing on carbon capture and sequestration legislation, including S. 1856, S. 1134  and other bills.
  • House Oversight Subcommittee hearing on “Nuclear Power's Federal Loan Guarantees: The Next Multi-Billion Dollar Bailout?”

Wednesday, April 21

  • House Agriculture Committee hearing on U.S. agriculture policy in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill, with USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack
  • Senate Agriculture Committee mark-up of Chair Blanche Lincoln's Wall Street reform legislation
  • Senate Energy Public Lands and Forests Subcommittee hearing on various issues including S. 2798, to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire through insect and disease infestation treatment of National Forest System and adjacent lands, with USDA Undersecretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment Harris Sherman.
  • House Energy Subcommittee hearing on The National Broadband Plan: Deploying Quality Broadband Services to the Last Mile

Thursday, April 22

  • Senate Banking Committee hearing on China's Exchange Rate Policy and Trade Imbalances
  • Senate Foreign Relations hearing on Promoting Global Food Security: Next Steps for Congress and the Administration, with Dan Glickman and other witnesses.
  • House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing on proposals to establish exchanges trading “movie futures”
  • House Energy Subcommittee hearing on The Environment and Human Health: The Role of HHS

USDA's Economic Research Service & National Agricultural Statistics Service reports:

  • Monday, April 19, Catfish Processing, Milk Production
  • Tuesday, April 20, Weather-Crop Summary, Wheat Data, Feed Grains Database
  • Wednesday April 21, Broiler Hatchery, Catfish Feed Deliveries, Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook
  • Thursday, April 22, Cold Storage
  • Friday, April 23, Dairy Products Prices, Livestock Slaughter, Cattle on Feed, Chickens and Eggs, Peanut Prices, Vegetables and Melons Outlook

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