Weekly Column

Transmission lines provide a pathway for renewable energy

The Midwest has experienced a renewable energy boom. Renewables have provided the region with clean, low-cost energy and created new economic development opportunities for communities. The expansion of renewable energy has presented a challenge—the electric grid was not designed to connect wind and solar generation to customers. Taking full advantage of the region’s clean energy resources requires a concerted effort to improve existing electric transmission infrastructure.

Field needs to be leveled for family farmers

Sen. Grassley (IA) and Rep. Fortenberry (NE) are standing up for family farmers in very tough times. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced they plan to release regulations this year addressing payments to family farms. These payments offer essential support to family farmers, but current loopholes are exploited by the largest farms that sometimes receive hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in payments.

Watershed planning is key for Iowa water quality

In 2018, the Iowa Legislature passed a law that gives $282 million for water quality projects over the next 12 years. While these funds help initiate new projects and build up existing efforts, more money is not the only way to improve water quality. Instead, lawmakers should put a premium on encouraging local control.

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