The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Alton Terry’s appeal yesterday.
Terry was a contract chicken raiser for Tyson Foods. The grower had a good record with the company but he questioned the company’s business practices. For instance, he wanted to be there when his birds were weighed, a tally that determined his pay.
Terry also began organizing other growers. And he filed a complaint under the Packers and Stockyards Act. Tyson cancelled Terry’s contract “because of his confrontational behavior,” a lower court found. Terry sued under the Packers and Stockyards Act, but the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that there had been no violation of federal law because Tyson’s actions had not harmed competition within the industry.
They had only harmed Alton Terry, and the court ruled that outcome wasn’t covered by the law. The Supreme Court declined to review this decision.
This issue — whether harm to a single producer is actionable — is addressed by regulations now pending in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Terry eventually lost his farm in a foreclosure action.
• The Washington Post reports that claims of violations of net neutrality are already collecting at the Federal Communications Commission.
One consumer group says a provider is blocking Skype, for example.
• The Environmental Protection Agency approved fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol for older cars and trucks, those built from 2001 through 2006.
The EPA was hesitant to allow the higher ethanol content, but found that E15 does not harm emissions control equipment. The National Corn Growers asspciation says that allowing E15 in older vehicles, instead of fuel with 10% ethanol, will replace 7 billion gallons of gasoline per year.
• The consensus among Washington-based reporters is that the decision by Carol Browner to resign as director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy means the administration won’t be active in this area in the coming two years.
The National Journal says Browner’s resignation signals “Obama’s move to the center.”