Iowa


Photo: Hancock County Wind Center

McNamee on FERC Harmful to Kansas and Iowa Wind Industries and Rate-Payers

, director of gov't affairs, Climate & Energy

There’s a little known independent federal agency whose decisions could have big impacts on states like Kansas and Iowa.  It’s called the Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission (FERC).  FERC makes decisions that affect electric power markets and approval (or rejection) of applications to build interstate electric transmission lines that are essential for the continued growth of the thriving wind industries in these states.  But the independence of this agency is being threatened by the Trump Administration with the potential confirmation of Bernard McNamee for FERC Commissioner; a Trump politico who has no regulatory experience or experience in the electric utility industry and is an avowed critic of wind power and renewables.

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Photo: Hancock County Wind Center
Photo: Drenaline/Wikimedia Commons
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How Oats Could Save Iowa’s Farmers (and Fight Pollution)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

That bowl of oatmeal pictured above was my breakfast this morning. The strawberries were from nearby Virginia (hello, spring!) but the oats may have come from as far away as Sweden, Finland, or Canada. In the future, my morning oats could be grown much closer to home, in a state like Iowa that is now dominated by corn and soybeans. A new UCS report shows why that would be a good thing for US farmers and our environment.

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Plate of the Union—a 2016 Campaign for a Better Food and Farming System

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

I don’t need to tell you that 2016 hasn’t exactly been the presidential campaign year my colleagues and I imagined when we launched our “Plate of the Union” initiative last fall. The national conversation has taken a few detours (ahem) that have made it challenging to maintain a focus on issues that really matter to American families, like what’s for dinner and how it gets there. Read more >

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organic vegetables for sale at farmers market

Organic Farming is Growing (But Not Everywhere)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released the results of its latest survey of organic farmers, and there’s good news. Organic farming is up nationally, with 12,818 farms generating $6.2 billion in certified organic product sales in 2015, up 13 percent from 2014. But the survey shows that all states aren’t pursuing organic farming equally. And one of the top organic states may surprise you. Read more >

Photo: Lance Cheung, USDA/CC BY 2.0, Flickr
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Dear Future President: Be a Hero—Replace Perennial Problems with Perennial Solutions

, senior scientist

The presidential horse race is currently dominating the front pages of newspapers in Iowa (and beyond). After next week’s Iowa caucuses, however, the Iowa press will most certainly return to the usual steady stream of coverage about the environmental crises du jour. In daily installments, such stories will once again detail the severe and undeniable environmental impact of the style of row crop agriculture that dominates the landscape as far as the eye can see in Iowa—and in the Midwest as a whole. Read more >

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