MARK YOUR CALENDAR MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS Come Join Us and the Presidential Primary Candidates NATIONAL GRANGE LEGISLATIVE FLY-IN February 4 - 7, 2016 Concord, New Hampshire Come to New Hampshire and participate in a presidential candidate's campaign the weekend prior to the big New … [Read More...]
Lincoln NE – During the 149th Annual Session of the National Grange, delegates from each state elected a new slate of national officers. Among this group was Betsy Huber, the newly elected President and the first woman to hold that office in the history of the organization. Ms. Huber is currently … [Read More...]
The National Grange Supports Congressional Attention on Broadband Deployment and Budget Proposal Language
Believes Freeing Up More Wireless Airwaves is Essential Alleviating spectrum scarcity will directly benefit rural America and the agriculture sector WASHINGTON – The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will convene tomorrow at 10:00 am for a hearing titled, “Breaking Down … [Read More...]
Edward Andersen, Past National Master, passed away in his home on Friday, October 16, 2015, at the age of 89. He was the son of Hans P. and Minnie (Sorensen) Andersen, born on June 6, 1926 in Omaha, Nebraska. During his early childhood years, Ed lived on a dairy farm in Carter Lake, Iowa. When he … [Read More...]
In this October message, National Grange President Ed Luttrell discusses the the fall harvest and the upcoming Halloween holiday. Mr. Luttrell also emphasizes the importance of our State Grange annual sessions and encourages you to attend your State's session as well as the National Session this … [Read More...]
- Federal Communication Commission Should Encourage Innovation and Private Investment in Rural America
Last week, Congress held a hearing to evaluate proposals and recent actions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and determine how the agency can better serve the public. Both Republican and Democratic members asked all five FCC commissioners questions regarding their work over the past year on a range of issues that impact consumers, from spectrum to broadband deployment. One particular issue that surfaced repeatedly during the hearing was how the FCC can improve its efforts to expand these essential services and resources to rural areas. Read more
- Federal Appeals Court Makes Disappointing Decision on Patents
On August 13 – the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc in the Apple-Samsung patent dispute. The National Grange has closely followed this lawsuit for its impact on Grange members’ access to advanced telecommunications technologies. Last month we filed an Amicus brief urging the court to reconsider the $399 million penalty imposed for alleged design patent infringement covering basic shapes. Read more
- Spectrum Needed
The United States is experiencing a “Mobile Revolution”. Experts predict that by 2020 the number of connected devices will reach 50 billion. The “Mobile Revolution” is changing how Americans communicate and manage nearly every aspect of daily life. These advancements have made life easier, more enjoyable, and more productive for the millions who have embraced these innovative technologies. Among those who are embracing and relying on wireless broadband services at an increasingly rapid pace – although often over looked – are farmers, ranchers, and others who make up our rural communities. Read more
- Washington’s Overlooked Barrier to Internet Access
A growing consensus is emerging in Washington about the necessity of reliable access to the Internet and online resources. Last week, in front of a packed auditorium in the capital of the Choctaw Nation, President Obama unveiled the ConnectHome initiative, which aims to provide high-speed internet to some 200,000 rural and low-income families. The month prior, Congressional leaders introduced the Digital Learning Equity Act, seeking to rollout greater out-of-school Internet access for students through Department of Education grants. Read more
- Postal Service Cuts Causes Rural Concerns
Despite three cautionary reports by the Postal Regulatory Commission, The Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, and an internal management report, the U.S. Postal Service has moved ahead to reduce its service standards for First-Class Mail. These new policies will create a two-tier network with service to rural areas and small towns downgraded much more than large urban areas. Several state and local Granges are objecting to the Postmaster General with copies to their Senators and Representatives”. Read more
- Medicare Part D Rebates
The National Grange has joined a large number of patient health and elderly care organizations on a letter to the U.S Congress opposing proposals to weaken programs for seniors and persons with disabilities. One of these proposals would mandate rebates on Medicare’s Part D drug program. But these are not rebates to patients as one might assume. This money would be treated as a tax paid by drug manufacturers direct to the Federal Government with no resulting new drug development or lower patient prescription costs. Read more
- Federal Appeals Court Scheduled to Make Important Ruling
Today is a big day in the intellectual property arena, and it’s not just scholars and technology aficionados who are taking notice. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is set to hear appeals and objections in the Apple vs. Samsung proceedings (14-1335, Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.), a critical case in the development of design patent reform. The National Grange is paying close attention to this case, being heard directly across Lafeyette Park from the National Grange Building in Washington DC, for its impact on Grange members access to advanced telecommunications technologies. Read more
- To Ensure the Best Outcomes for Rural Americans, Better Provisions Needed in Federal Broadband Plan
Today’s global economy demands that every participant have access to reliable, high-speed Internet in order to attain a level playing field to actively participate in the virtual business marketplace. Although rural America constitutes 15% of our total population, it is these men and women and families who keep food on our tables, fuel in our cars and provide energy for our homes and businesses. We owe it to them to implement the infrastructure to provide broadband internet services. Americans living in rural areas still lack access to this vital resource. Read more
CALL YOUR SENATORS TO STOP WOTUS OVERREACH
The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is now the law of the land for much of the country but not all the country. A 197 page regulation from the EPA and Corps of Engineers that will further regulate practically all waters and land mass in the country went into effect Friday, August 28. However, it will not be enforced in 13 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming, and New Mexico) but will be in effect for the remainder of the country. On Thursday, August 27, a federal judge in North Dakota blocked implementation of the WOTUS rule in the 13 states that had filed in his court.
In his ruling, Judge Erickson said, “Once the Rule takes effect, the States will lose their sovereignty over intrastate waters that will then be subject to the Clean Water Act.” A dozen farmer, rancher, land owner and business organizations and a total of 31 states have filed various legal actions for relief from the WOTUS rule. One of their primary concerns is the apparent disregard for private property rights. An editorial in the Investor’s Business Daily suggested, “The EPA interpretation would lead to private land owners having to ask permission from the government to do anything. It would give the EPA sweeping control over almost all private land in America.” The EPA, however, responded immediately that the rule would go into effect in the remaining states on Friday.
National Grange policy recognizes the importance of protecting all watersheds but opposes any mandate that suggests all watersheds are to meet the same water quality standards. We believe Americans must not sacrifice their property under the guise of environment, climate change, critical habitat, urban sprawl or other initiatives.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Contact your two U.S. Senators
Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard
Ask for your Senator’s office
Request your Senator to vote to stop the WOTUS rule
The National Grange is working with America’s Electric Cooperatives to advocate against the EPA’s new rule. Tell EPA that its new rule on existing power plants will jeopardize the economy, cause energy prices to skyrocket, kill jobs and penalize low income Americans.
UPDATE: EPA Extends Comment Period for Coal-Fired Power Plant Rule
The EPA has extended the comment period for its proposed rule to limit power plant emissions from October 16 to December 1. Coal, at 39%, is the largest single source of electricity generation in the country. The electric utilities warn the rule will cause more than 600 generating plants to close before sufficient alternative power sources (natural gas, renewable energy, wind and solar) are capable of filling the void.