For decades, U.S. climate change policy has amounted to, "Do as I say, not as I do." However, this week President Obama announced its boldest step yet to reduce carbon emissions. The President wants to reduce carbon emission from power plants by 30% by the year 2030.
Today on River to River, what these guidelines mean for Iowa.
One of the companies banking on Iowa’s wind energy industry is Clean Line Energy Partners, a Houston-based operation with plans to build five large-scale high voltage transmission lines in the country. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, one of those lines would traverse Iowa, and it starts in the northwest corner of the state.
The Iowa State Fair wraps up next weekend. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace, over the economics and controversy over when schools should start and how that affects state fairs and tourism. Masters also talks with McCammon about the energy stories she's done on Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that was involved in the BP oil spill three years ago, and a solar company that’s also ahead of its peers.
Mid-American Energy is planning to invest $1.9 billion in Iowa to add up to about one gigawatt of wind generation, which could power 300-thousand homes. That means more than 600 new wind turbines are expected to be built in Iowa by 2016. Host Ben Kieffer gets details on the project, and he gets a broader look at wind energy in Iowa with both large- and small-scale turbines. We also talk with an ISU professor a grad student working on designing a different wind turbine tower—one made out of concrete.
Iowa’s biggest economic development deal was announced Wednesday. As Governor Terry Branstad puts it… it’s all about wind energy. Mid-American Energy will in invest 1-point-9 billion dollars in Iowa to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation. That’s about 656 new wind turbines IN IOWA by 2016. Branstad says Iowa’s wind energy industry is a good selling point for high-tech companies like Facebook which just announced it would build a data center in Altoona, just outside of Des Moines.
Lindsey Price and father Bob Price look out on the land of their Gracie Creek Ranch near Burwell, in central Nebraska.The Price family recently sold the largest conservation easement in Nebraska history, covering about 40 square miles.
Along the winding road to and through Grace Creek Ranch, a 25,537-acre yearling cattle ranch in central Nebraska, there are no houses in sight – no buildings, for that matter. Just acres and acres of gold and amber grass, punctuated by patches of sand and lines of barbed wire fence.
And that’s the way the owners of Gracie Creek Ranch want it to stay. Lindsey Price, a fourth-generation rancher, her brother Aaron and their father Bob recently sold the largest conservation easement in Nebraska history, covering about 40 square miles.
The “Fiscal Cliff” bill signed by President Obama includes renewal tax credits for wind energy. Iowa is third in the nation for wind power production.
Wind energy companies here claim the incentives are essential for the growth of the industry. Harold Prior is the Executive Director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association. He says as the deadline approached without guaranteed renewal, investors were hesitant to start projects.
President Barack Obama will be in Ames Tuesday. He’s likely to bring up the wind energy tax credit. That federal tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year. And the president’s opponent Mitt Romney opposes extending that credit. It's put Iowa’s top Republicans at odds with Governor Romney.
Iowa’s top Republicans--from Senator Chuck Grassley to Governor Terry Branstad-- want Romney to reconsider and give the tax credit a little more time.
One of the limitations of the wind energy industry has been connecting it to the power grid. On today's "River to River", we hear about The Rock Island Clean Line, a project to deliver 35-hundred megawatts of wind power from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to communities in Illinois and states to the East. We also find out what will happen to the effort if wind energy tax credits are eliminated.