SDPB's Charles Michael Ray posts a Dakota Digest report on how wind power is boosting the Howard economy. Randy Perry of the forward-thinking Rural Learning Center says that green jobs and green energy have brought more than 230 jobs to Howard this decade. Unfortunately, Miner County as a whole has seen a decline in its workforce from 1500 to 1245 over this decade.
Perry believes, as I do, that climate change legislation would bring even more high-tech, high-pay jobs to Howard and all of South Dakota. But out stomps hog farmer, Clearwater Township chairman Larry Haak to tell us climate change legislation will raise farm input costs and give the EPA power to regulate large farms.
More EPA regulation? Haak evidently missed the point that the American Clean Energy and Security Act is actually a market-based solution that would forestall EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. Haak also evidently missed the point that climate change legislation will do less harm to farmers than unmitigated climate change itself.
But missing the point is to be expected of a vice-chair of the Miner County Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau, a big corporate lobby founded by the New York Chamber of Commerce and Rockefeller money, is well known for its opposition to climate change legislation or anything else that might force the corporate ag-industrial complex to behave responsibly.
You'd think the average farmer, paragon of patriotism and self-sufficiency, would see the case business leaders and even a South Carolina conservative and former Marine can make for how climate change legislation is good for America's economy, energy independence, and national security (good work, Badlands Blue!). I guess the Farm Bureau is all about flying the flag... until we ask them to support environmental action and innovation that might actually bring small farmers and rural communities new income streams and greater independence from the big ag processors.
***Carolyn Ann Johnson 1938-2016 - In October 2016, an old friend, James A. Johnson, died after being in a nursing home and hospital for some time. I intended to send a memorial and contacte...
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