MORNING BUZZ: Wind, Water and History

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Good Morning!

It’s never a good start when the power goes off in the newsroom about a half hour before we go on.  The emergency generators kick in but it causes all kinds of problems that just have to be reset.  This morning the biggest for Brooke and I was that we couldn’t hear anything that was going out over the air…it’s unnerving.  Our terrific Engineering staff came in and got everything working before we had our interview with Sen Grassley.  That would have been a DISASTER if we couldn’t hear him.


So Mid-American Energy is going to make a $1.9 billion investment in new wind generation capacity.  When the towers go up Mid American anticipates it will get 39 percent of its generation capacity from wind.  So who could be against cleaner power generation at no cost to the state in tax credits or incentives?  Apparently one of our viewers.  Here’s the email:

…When this technology is replaced in the future,as all technology is, who will be responsible for removing thousands of these giant towers, the millions of tons of concrete, and restoring the land ?

Ok…were to start? Environmentalists have been clamoring for a reduction in coal and even natural gas power generation because gathering or using those two resources has an impact on the environment.  Now that the state is being handed (not paying for) a 2 BILLION dollar investment in wind technology (I’ll get to that in a minute), the guy who’s concerned about the land is upset about how wind generation scars farmland???  The lights need to come on…so how do you want to accomplish that?

The first concern is even more laughable…technology?  Replaced?  Last I checked, wind power has been around for…well…centuries.  is there some concern that the wind is going to stop?  if there’s a more efficient way to harness the energy, I expect those poles grounded in millions of tons of concrete will come in handy…

It makes you wonder if the person is actually concerned about the environment or if they’re just upset that it’s a Republican administration on watch when this kind of investment gets made.


I had the Iowa Environmental group stop by my house last night.  The kid they sent over (probably a volunteer or intern) informed me that clean waterways in Iowa were their priority.  He said that 400-some Iowa waterways weren’t suitable for fishing, swimming or boating because of “runoff from Big-Ag” and we’ve had trouble getting anything done about the pollution because Big-Ag has Terry Branstad in the Governor’s office”.

I couldn’t stand it anymore so I jumped in.  I asked him if “Big-Ag” was the only problem?  If there might be any other sources of pollution in Iowa’s waterways? I also asked if it was really just the Governor holding things up?  His response was , “So are you with us on this?”

I told him I want clean waterways but I don’t support partisan efforts to blame one group or another.  “Big Ag” generates jobs and tax dollars and helps support and feed all of us.  They certainly have a responsibility to be stewards of the land and I understand that isn’t always the case.  That said, an issue like this is so complicated that it’s insulting to have someone boil it down to “Big Ag and the Governor”.  Real solutions to problems come from people with a comprehensive approach not an entrenched ideology.  Cleaning up Iowa’s waterways should be a priority, but there should be ways to allow Agriculture to thrive in Iowa without handicapping it with undue burden.

Anyway, I just don’t like it when someone shows up at my door trying to get me to support a greeting card length slogan as an approach to a problem.  We need to question these groups on both ends of the spectrum more.

Postcards from Normandy

My Mom and Dad are just wrapping up a trip to Normandy, France.  I’m super jealous…

I’ve always wanted to go…and will some day.  So my Mom knows this and sends me a really nice note describing their day touring the Norman Coastline and the battlefields of D-Day.  I had to laugh at her summary of the history:

We have lots of info on the battles and how the US was smart and the Germans not so much..  It was stunning. 

That it was.  I’m sure I will get the unabridged version when they get back.  Cant wait to see the pictures.

Hope you all have a good day!