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Quad Cities Turning Green? PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Environment
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 02:24

For the new Davenport police headquarters, building green is a simple matter of economics. "Saving money was the main motivation," said Charles Heston, a project manager in the city's Community & Economic Development Department.

Among its features, the under-construction building will be heated with geothermal energy; some lighting will be automatically adjusted based on daylight; other lighting will be controlled by occupancy censors; and a "green roof" with soil and plants will prevent rainwater from running off into storm sewers and provide additional insulation.

The Four-Headed Monster Returns PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Environment
Tuesday, 18 July 2006 22:37

Issue #590 coverThis spring, the Iowa legislature passed new subsidies for each gas station that features 85-percent ethanol fuel - 25 cents for each gallon sold in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and then smaller amounts through 2020. Governor Tom Vilsack signed the bill, House File 2754, on May 30.

The reasons offered are straightforward. Corn is a resource we have. Why import oil from far away? Plus, this helps farmers market their corn at a better price.

I would like to put these ideas in a broader context, hoping to better understand what is happening around us here in the heartland.

Why Ethanol Is as Much Problem as Panacea PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Environment
Tuesday, 18 July 2006 22:34

E-85 Ethanol The article this sidebar accompanies is less about ethanol than it is about government encouraging agricultural practices that aren't sustainable and do more harm than good to communities. Author Kamyar Enshayan argues that the federal government, in particular, should divert some agricultural subsidies into re-building sustainable local economies. Championing ethanol as the savior of the Midwestern farm, he claims, is a losing proposition.

To be clear, Enshayan said that ethanol is superior to gasoline in terms of its desirability as a source of energy. "Gasoline is terrible," he said. But he added that conservation and other options aren't being considered as alternatives to ethanol and gasoline. "We're in an addictive situation," he said of the United States' energy consumption. "What do we do to get out of it?"

My Love Affair with Grease PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Environment
Tuesday, 20 September 2005 18:00
In the wake of the Katrina disaster, anybody who uses petroleum has had to rethink their family budgets. All of a sudden those Prius hybrids are starting to look pretty cool. And I’m once again getting a lot of e-mail about my Grease Car.

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