Environment & Weather
Let’s Put American’s Back to Work to Clean Up Our Ailing Water Infrastructure PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Marcia Nichols   
Monday, 19 December 2011 15:05

AFSCME & Environmental Advocates

WHO: Danny Homan President of AFSCME Council 61

Bill Gearhard, Secretary-Treasurer of Great Plaines Laborers International, President of State Building Trades Council

Matt Ohloff, Iowa Director, Food and Water Watch

Bill Stowe, Public Works Director, City of Des Moines

Jim Piazza, Executive Director of Heavy Highway and Construction Contractors Association

WHAT: The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) and local environmental advocates applaud the candid findings of a recent report on the nation’s water infrastructure and call on the federal government to make immediate improvements to ensure public safety. According to the report, our nation’s water infrastructure is outdated, overextended and in crisis.  Not only are we failing to make the investments to meet today’s needs, we are also failing to make the investments needed to accommodate a growing population.

Nearly four million people get sick every year from swimming in contaminated water.  Twenty million people get sick each year simply from drinking contaminated water.  Forty percent of rivers and 46 percent of lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, swimming or even aquatic life.

President Obama’s jobs bill, the American Jobs Act, would be a start at tackling the water infrastructure gap.  While more investment will be needed, this bill is an important step in the right direction.  We call on all members of Congress to support the American Jobs Act so that we can put people to work and make our communities and our people healthier and safer.

WHERE: Des Moines Water Works Filter Building, Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA

DATE: Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TIME: 10:30 AM

 
Guest Opinion: Wind Over Coal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Elisha Smith   
Monday, 19 December 2011 14:52

By Tom Means, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Center for Rural Affairs

Wind power is the future. It’s the most cost-effective source of renewable energy, and is starting to undercut fossil fuels. Power from conventional coal costs $68 per megawatt-hour, while wind power in high resource areas cost $65 per megawatt-hour.

Supplies of coal and oil dwindle each day, but there will always be wind. And since wind will always be there, it isn’t subject to the type of supply-side market fluctuations that exist for fossil fuels.

Moreover, coal has serious underlying environmental implications. The combustion of coal is required for it to be used for energy, and this combustion releases multiple tons of carbon dioxide and other gases, which contribute to respiratory diseases and climate change.

Combustion of coal exceeds both natural gas and crude oil in its emissions.  Although some of these emissions can be reduced through technology, they are proven to create serious health problems in areas where they are emitted excessively.

The only environmentally unfriendly thing about wind is its effect on birds and their migration. Cars, glass, cats, and pesticides all make far greater contributions to bird mortality than windmills. Wind companies are working to further minimize this impact.

Global energy consumption is on the rise, wind power even more so. Thirty-five percent of all new U.S. generating capacity added in the last 4 years was wind. The energy, jobs and environmental benefits of wind hold great promise, not just for the rural Midwest and Great Plains, but for all of America, rural and urban alike.

 

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The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as an unaffiliated nonprofit corporation under IRS code 501(c)3. The Center for Rural Affairs was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.

 
MF Global, Agricultural Hearing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 09 December 2011 15:15
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011

On Thursday (tomorrow), the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will hold a hearing examining derivatives reform that will feature testimony from Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Committee members are likely to ask questions about the agencies’ work leading up to the MF Global bankruptcy, which has left farmer clients in the lurch.  Sen. Chuck Grassley, a member of the Agriculture Committee, made the following comment on the hearing.  Grassley has a scheduling conflict with the Judiciary Committee, where he serves as Ranking Member, but plans to attend the Agriculture Committee hearing as much as possible.  If he can’t attend, he will pose any questions he thinks were not asked to the witnesses for written responses for the hearing record.  Also, the Agriculture Committee has scheduled an investigative hearing on the MF Global case for Dec. 13, so there will be continued opportunities to ask questions.

“I appreciate the committee leaders’ attention to this issue.  It’s been weeks since MF Global’s bankruptcy.  The public is still in the dark on basic facts.  Unanswered questions include who discovered that client money was missing, how much of that money is actually missing, and how much of the client money can be recovered.  I hope the committee will be able to get some direct answers from Chairman Gensler and Chairman Schapiro.  It’s a good opportunity to ask the questions our constituents would ask if they could be there.”

 
Natural Wreath Program Planned PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Mike Granger   
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 14:28

On Saturday, December 10TH at 10:00 A.M. the Wapsi River Environmental Education Center will be hosting a natural wreath program. Come learn how to use natural items to make beautiful seasonal wreaths.  Grapevines, pinecones, evergreen cuttings, seeds, nuts and berries can add a touch of the outdoors to anyone’s decorating needs this season.  Please call to register, as space is limited to 12 participants ~ (563) 328-3286.

The Wapsi River Environmental Education Center can be found 6 miles south of Wheatland or 1 mile northwest of Dixon, Iowa by taking County Road Y4E.  Then turn north at 52nd Avenue and follow the signs for about 1 mile.

 
Winter Bird Feeding Program Slated PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Lisa Gerwulf   
Friday, 11 November 2011 14:40

On Saturday, November 19th at 10:00 A.M. the Wapsi River Environmental Education Center will be hosting a winter bird feeding program. Come learn how you can attract and feed our common feathered friends on any budget.  Simple supplies and preparation can get you started right in your own backyard.  Call to register, (563) 328-3286

The Wapsi River Environmental Education Center can be found 6 miles south of Wheatland or 1 mile northwest of Dixon, Iowa by taking County Road Y4E.  Then turn north at 52nd Avenue and follow the signs for about 1 mile.

 
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