(a) The following delegations of authority are made by the Secretary of Agriculture to the Chief Economist:
(1)Related to economic analysis. (i) Coordinate economic analyses of, and review Department decisions involving, policies and programs that have substantial economic implications.
(ii) Review and assess the economic impact of all significant regulations proposed by any agency of the Department.
(iii) Review economic data and analyses used in speeches and Congressional testimony by Department personnel and in materials prepared for release through the press, radio, and television.
(2)Related to risk assessment. (i) Responsible for assessing the risks to human health, human safety, or the environment, and for preparing cost-benefit analyses, with respect to proposed major regulations, and for publishing such assessments and analyses in the Federal Register as required by section 304 of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 2204e).
(ii) Provide direction to Department agencies in the appropriate methods of risk assessment and cost-benefit analyses and coordinate and review all risk assessments and cost-benefit analyses prepared by any agency of the Department.
(3)Related to food and agriculture outlook and situation. (i) Coordinate and review all crop and commodity data used to develop outlook and situation material within the Department.
(ii) Oversee and clear for consistency analytical assumptions and results of all estimates and analyses which significantly relate to international and domestic commodity supply and demand, including such estimates and analyses prepared for public distribution by the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Economic Research Service, or by any other agency or office of the Department.
(4)Related to weather and climate. (i) Advise the Secretary on climate and weather activities, and coordinate the development of policy options on weather and climate.
(ii) Coordinate all weather and climate information and monitoring activities within the Department and provide a focal point in the Department for weather and climate information and impact assessment.
(iii) Arrange for appropriate representation to attend all meetings, hearings, and task forces held outside the Department which require such representation.
(iv) Designate the Executive Secretary of the USDA Weather and Climate Program Coordinating Committee.
(5)Related to interagency commodity estimates committees. (i) Establish Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees for Commodity Credit Corporation price-supported commodities, for major products thereof, and for commodities where a need for such a committee has been identified, in order to bring together estimates and supporting analyses from participating agencies, and to develop official estimates of supply, utilization, and prices for commodities, including the effects of new program proposals on acreage, yield, production, imports, domestic utilization, price, income, support programs, carryover, exports, and availabilities for export.
(ii) Designate the Chairman, who shall also act as Secretary, for all Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees.
(iii) Assure that all committee members have the basic assumptions, background data and other relevant data regarding the overall economy and market prospects for specific commodities.
(iv) Review for consistency of analytical assumptions and results all proposed decisions made by Commodity Estimates Committees prior to any release outside the Department.
(7)Related to long-range commodity and agricultural-sector projections. Establish committees of the agencies of the Department to coordinate the development of a set of analytical assumptions and long-range agricultural-sector projections (2 years and beyond) based on commodity projections consistent with these assumptions and coordinated through the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees.
(8)Related to agricultural labor affairs. Exercise the following functions of the Secretary under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended (8 U.S.C. 1101et seq.):
(i) Pursuant to section 214(c) of INA (8 U.S.C. 1184(c)), provide consultation to the Attorney General and the Secretary of Labor concerning the question of the importation of aliens as nonimmigrant temporary agricultural workers, known as “H-2A” workers, under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a);
(ii) Pursuant to section 218(e) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1188 note), provide consultation to the Attorney General and the Secretary of Labor concerning all regulations to implement 8 U.S.C. 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) and 1188 providing for the importation of H-2A workers;
(iii) Pursuant to section 210(h) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1160(h)), promulgate regulations to define “seasonal agricultural services” for purposes of the Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) Program;
(iv) Pursuant to section 210A(a) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1161(a)), determine jointly with the Secretary of Labor the number (if any) of additional special agricultural workers, known as “replenishment agricultural workers” (RAWs), who should be admitted to the United States or otherwise acquire the status of aliens lawfully admitted for temporary residence during fiscal years 1990 through 1993 to meet a shortage of workers to perform seasonal agricultural services in the United States during each such fiscal year;
(v) Pursuant to section 210A(a)(7) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1161(a)(7)), determine jointly with the Secretary of Labor emergency requests to increase the shortage number;
(vi) Pursuant to section 210A(a)(8) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1161(a)(8)), determine jointly with the Secretary of Labor requests to decrease the number of man-days of seasonal agricultural services required of RAWs to avoid deportation and for naturalization under section 210A(d)(5)(A) and (B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1161(d)(5)(A) and (B));
(vii) Pursuant to section 210A(b)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1161(b)(1)), calculate jointly with the Secretary of Labor and annual numerical limitation on the number of RAWs who may be admitted or otherwise acquire the status of aliens lawfully admitted for temporary residence during fiscal years 1990 through 1993 under section 210A(c)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1161(c)(1)); and
(viii) Pursuant to section 210A(b)(2) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1161(b)(2)), establish jointly with the Secretary of Labor the information that must be reported by any person or entity who employs SAWs or RAWs in seasonal agricultural services during fiscal years 1989 through 1992, and to designate jointly with the Secretary of Labor the official to whom the person or entity must furnish such certification.
(9)Related to the Capper-Volstead Act. Serve as Chairman of the Capper-Volstead Act Committee to identify cases of undue price enhancement by associations of producers and issue complaints requiring such associations to show cause why an order should not be made directing them to cease and desist from monopolization or restraint of trade. The Chairman is authorized to call upon any agency of the Department for support in carrying the functions of the Committee (7 U.S.C. 292).
(10)Related to committee management. Establish and reestablish regional, state, and local advisory committees for activities under his or her authority. This authority may not be redelegated.
(11)Related to energy. (i) Advise the Secretary and other policy-level officials of the Department on energy policies and programs, including legislative and budget proposals.
(ii) Serve as or designate the Department representative at hearings, conferences, meetings and other contacts with respect to energy and energy-related matters, including liaison with the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and other governmental agencies and departments.
(v) Provide Department leadership in:
(A) Analyzing and evaluating existing and proposed energy policies and strategies, including those regarding the allocation of scarce resources;
(B) Developing energy policies and strategies, including those regarding the allocation of scarce resources;
(C) Reviewing and evaluating Departmental energy and energy-related programs and programs progress;
(D) Developing agricultural and rural components of national energy policy plans; and
(E) Preparing reports on energy and energy-related polices and programs required under Acts of Congress and Executive orders, including those involving testimony and reports on legislative proposals.
(vi) Provide Departmental oversight and coordination with respect to resources available for energy and energy-related activities, including funds transferred to USDA from other departments or agencies of the Federal Government pursuant to interagency agreements.
(vii) Administer a competitive biodiesel fuel education grants program (7 U.S.C. 8106).
(viii) Implement a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of Energy regarding cooperation in the application of hydrogen and fuel cell technology programs for rural communities and agricultural producers.
(ix) Conduct a study on biofuels infrastructure under section 9002 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246).
(12)Related to climate change.
(i) Coordinate policy analysis, long-range planning, research, and response strategies relating to climate change issues.
(ii) Provide liaison with other Federal agencies, through the Office of Science and Technology Policy, regarding climate change issues.
(iii) Inform the Department of scientific developments and policy issues relating to the effects of climate change on agriculture and forestry, including broader issues that affect the impact of climate change on the farms and forests of the United States.
(iv) Recommend to the Secretary alternative courses of action with which to respond to such scientific developments and policy issues.
(v) Ensure that recognition of the potential for climate change is fully integrated into the research, planning, and decisionmaking processes of the Department.
(vi) Coordinate global climate change studies.
(vii) Coordinate the participation of the Department in interagency climate-related activities.
(viii) Consult with the National Academy of Sciences and private, academic, State, and local groups with respect to climate research and related activities.
(ix) Represent the Department to the Office of Science and Technology Policy on issues related to climate change.
(x) Represent the Department on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
(xi) Review all Department budget items relating to climate change issues, including specifically the research budget to be submitted by the Secretary to the Office of Management and Budget.
(13)Related to environment.
(i) Coordinate implementation of section 1245 of the Food Security Act of 1985 regarding environmental services markets (16 U.S.C. 3845).
(14)Related to agreements.
(i) Enter into contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements to further research programs in the food and agricultural sciences (7 U.S.C. 3318).
(ii) Enter into cost-reimbursable agreements relating to agricultural research (7 U.S.C. 3319a).