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Climate change and energy bill


Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The House Agriculture Committee concluded its first public hearing to review the Waxman-Markey climate change and energy bill (H.R. 2454) on June 11. Dubbed "cap and trade," it would impose new energy taxes on all American energy users, raising the cost of all energy, for the purpose of bringing down energy consumption in order to reduce "global warming" emissions.

Their proposal would set a limit on how much carbon dioxide a company or farm could emit as part of its production process. Any company exceeding the government-mandated limit would be forced to purchase emissions allowances from other companies that do not exceed the limit.

The June 11 hearing was the first time the Agriculture Committee had the opportunity to examine the impact this bill will have on production agriculture and rural America. Unfortunately, this may have been the only time. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and liberal leaders on Capitol Hill are attempting to muscle the bill through Congress before the summer ends.

It is important to note that there were three witness panels during this hearing, including former Iowa Governor and current Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Other witnesses included representatives from conservation, energy and agriculture-related organizations such as the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Secretary Vilsack said he supported "the notion that there's obviously work yet to be done on this bill." But Secretary Vilsack also supports "the notion" of the predictions of a climate catastrophe and "the notion" of taxing energy users and claiming a positive economic impact even while acknowledging increased costs to agriculture.

Even worse, Secretary Vilsack admitted that the USDA had not completed any analysis of how this bill will impact farmers and ranchers, but he admitted that "it is fair to say there may be additional costs associated with a farming operation." Vilsack described the bill as a "work in progress."

Vilsack's position on "cap and trade" hurts Iowa and American agriculture. I have never seen a Secretary of Agriculture so at odds with both Democrats and Republicans on the Agriculture Committee.

A thousand-page bill of this magnitude deserves thoughtful consideration and debate. Yet, we have Speaker Pelosi ignoring the legislative process and trying to force what Secretary Vilsack calls a "work in progress" through Congress. Liberals like the idea of giving the government more control over our .....
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One Moment Please: Obituaries and E-mail Alert System

Fri, Jul 10th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the years, I've heard a few people say the Internet is a bad thing. And, I've heard the flip side from people stating the Internet is the next best thing since the toothbrush.

The individuals who are concerned about what the Internet in ..... 
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A couple of ways to help yourself

Thu, Jul 2nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

In cases of emergency medical services there is often a degree of confusion even when there are alert knowledgeable relatives and friends at the scene. This is especially true about two things, medications and, to a lesser degree, end of life direct ..... 
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One Moment Please: Open enrollment

Thu, Jul 2nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

On the cover of the June 29, 2009 issue of the Fillmore County Journal, we ran a story about the impact of open enrollment on Fillmore County.

Without a doubt, this has had an influence on school budgets and interaction between area schools, ..... 
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Retire, already

Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I thought eight years of Dick Cheney's sneer was about ten years too many. Now, it seems, he can't find his way home to Wyoming, a place where only the antelope listen.

Then, my compassionate side kicked in. Having seen industries shut down ..... 
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One moment, please: Sizing me up...

Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It's become pretty apparent to me that people are trying to size me up, pondering how I'll approach political issues.

I have received e-mails, phone calls, and anonymous hand-written letters (with no return addresses on the envelopes) - and ..... 
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Why Congress needs institutionalists

Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

It takes all kinds of people to make the U.S. Congress work. The ambitious and the laid-back, loners and consensus-builders, partisans and aisle-crossers - all have their place. In these highly politicized times, though, there's one type who is part ..... 
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One moment, please... Serving Fillmore County

Mon, Jun 22nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

As I have visited with Fillmore County residents and business owners, I have arrived at the conclusion that if our masthead says "Fillmore County Journal," then we need to do our best to make sure every household in Fillmore County receives our news ..... 
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Make weatherization plans for winter now

Fri, Jun 19th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Planning to make your home more energy efficient for winter is probably not on the top of your agenda for things to do in June. This is a time for leaving windows open over night to let the cool air in, allowing us to wake to a cacophony of birdsong ..... 
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