Weekly Column

Statement on Proposed Bayer-Monsanto Merger

The proposed merger between German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer and U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto would create the world's largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals. A merged company would control a quarter of the world's seed and agrichemical market. This proposed merger follows two other mega-mergers in the agricultural input market. The Dow-DuPont merger and ChemChina-Syngenta deal both announced in the last year are reshaping an already highly consolidated market.
 

Electrify the Economy

Efforts to significantly reduce carbon pollution between now and 2050 are vital and feasible. Electrifying transportation and the heating of residential and commercial buildings will help reduce carbon pollution because the electric grid is getting cleaner each year. This creates a huge opportunity for rural economic development.
 

Wind Energy Payments Contribute to Local Roads

The Mower County (MN) Board of Commissioners recently voted to dedicate revenue from local wind farms to road repairs and maintenance. The payment, likely $330,000 to $500,000 each year for a 10-year period, will contribute significantly toward fixing important infrastructure in the county.
 
Renewable energy generation continues to grow as an industry. New infrastructure has made it possible for projects to be built across the Midwest, bringing with them a range of benefits, some obvious, others less so.
 

Economic Benefits of Immigration

The majority of rural, foreign-born U.S. residents come from Latin America. And Latino immigrants are not only bringing population growth to rural America, they also bring economic growth. Economists have found that, nationwide, rural counties with larger proportions of Latino populations tend to be better off economically than those with smaller Latino populations.
 

An Affordable Pathway to Big Energy Savings

What if you could reduce your electric bill while increasing the comfort of your home?  More and more utilities are finding ways to do this, often using “tariffed on-bill financing.”
 
Tariffed on-bill financing may be a dry term, but programs in this category have exciting benefits for residential electric utility customers. These programs - sometimes billed as “Upgrade to Save” or “Pay as You Save” - can save customers hundreds of dollars annually, enable utilities to provide energy efficiency upgrades, help homeowners build equity in their homes, and create local jobs.

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