Green Going Rural

Renewable energy development serves the common good by addressing very real threats of reduced crop production, extreme weather damage and lives lost from climate change. Despite consensus among leading climate scientists that fossil-fuel emissions are causing climate change, there are a few skeptics and they are right about one thing, we won't know with 100 percent certainty until it's too late. That makes commonsense steps - like investing in wind energy - even more urgent.
A Bush Department of Energy study concluded that the cost of new turbines and transmission lines could be paid with savings in fuel costs, plus about 50 cents per U.S. household per month.  That's a small price to pay for addressing climate change and making significant progress in revitalizing rural America.  And passage of renewable energy legislation could bring real economic opportunity to rural America - $782 million in annual lease payments to farmers and ranchers with turbines as well as nearly 1.2 million mostly rural jobs - but only if the bill isn't too watered down.
 
The American Clean Energy Leadership Act is awaiting Senate action, but it would only require a modest 12 percent of the nation's electricity come from wind and other renewable sources by 2025 - a benchmark that the nation is likely to achieve without Congressional action.  We can do better than this.  Rural America, especially the wind rich Midwest and Great Plains, have a huge economic stake in raising the renewable electricity standard to 20 percent when the bill comes before the full Senate.

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