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Ohio has lost a quarter of its dairy farms

Edairy News | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Agriculture News

"I've got to make $16 (per 100 pounds, or 11.6 gallons of milk) just to break even,” Dwight Raber said, as he turned the pages on a printed report that details daily production of the farm’s 235 cows. “Right now, I’m at $13.89, and it’s been that way for two years.” In Raber’s younger days, a cow that produced 100 pounds of milk a day was a herd superstar. These days, that’s almost the average. Large-scale dairy farms and low milk prices have forced Raber to find new ways to keep the bills paid and their farms operating.Raber added beef cattle to the farm to supplement the dairy portion.


FCC Announces $20 Billion Rural Broadband Fund

Route Fifty | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in News

The Federal Communications Commission Friday announced a $20.4 billion rural broadband fund that over the next decade will be used to help build out high-speed internet access. In a news release, the FCC said the “Rural Digital Opportunity Fund” will allow the connection to “up to gigabit-speed” broadband for as many as four million homes and small businesses.


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs bill banning local 'right-to-work' zones

Chicago Tribune | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Rural News

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed into law a bill that bars local governments from establishing so-called right-to-work zones, another rebuke to his Republican predecessor, who blocked similar legislation as he battled with Democratic lawmakers over his pro-business, union-weakening agenda.


Southern States Slowly Embracing Harm Reduction to Curb Opioid Epidemic

Pew Trust | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Rural News

As a top agent with North Carolina’s Bureau of Investigation, Donnie Varnell had tried everything to stop people from fatally overdosing on opioids, from arresting more low-level drug users to talking with doctors. Nothing worked. In 2014, he heard a former SWAT commander speak to law enforcement officers about carrying the opioid antidote naloxone.“I’ve arrested more people than you can put on a cruise ship,” Varnell said, recalling the speech. “But the message — and the messenger — resonated with me. He spoke cop. But he also had ideas, programs and studies.


U.S. EPA chief defends big energy projects, says climate not top priority

Reuters | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Energy, Federal News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a proposal to speed state-level permitting decisions for energy infrastructure projects soon, the agency’s chief told Reuters, blasting states that have blocked coal terminals and gas pipelines on environmental grounds.


Puerto Rico governor signs 100% renewable energy mandate

Utility Dive | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Energy, SARL Members and Alumni News

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Thursday signed into law a 100% renewable energy mandate that the hurricane-battered island must meet by 2050. The Public Energy Policy Law of Puerto Rico, passed last month by territory legislators, directs the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to source 40% of its power from renewables by 2025 and cease burning coal in 2028 on its way to 100% renewables. The signing comes days after a Department of Energy official recommended the installation of a large gas generator in San Juan, but admitted it "may be at odds" with the 100% goal.


Washington 100% clean energy bill gets one step closer to Inslee's desk

Utility Dive | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Energy, SARL Members and Alumni News

Washington's House of Representatives on Thursday approved a 100% clean energy bill, following Senate approval on March 1, making it the fourth state in the country to commit to such a goal. Senate Bill 5116 passed the House 56-42, and will require the state to power 100% of its electricity from carbon-free resources by 2045. The legislation phases out coal entirely by 2025 and requires all electricity sales to be carbon-neutral by 2030.The bill was amended in the House so will still ​need to be reconciled in the Senate. Then, the bill will move on to Gov.


Indiana lawmakers reject generation moratorium aimed at saving coal

Utility Dive | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Agriculture News

Indiana lawmakers on Thursday defeated a controversial power plant moratorium aimed at preserving in-state coal generators, but the language could resurface later in the legislative session. State lawmakers voted 53-38 to remove Amendment 7 from Senate Bill 472. The amendment would have halted utility purchases or construction of generation assets 250 MW or larger until 2021. Debate over the generation moratorium corresponded with a lobbying campaign by out-of-state coal interests that supply fuel to Indiana generators.


The race to help dairy farms

Edairy News | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Agriculture News

The survival of thousands of smaller dairy farmers rides on the success of the latest program designed to save them as dairy farmers right now continue going out of business at a rapid clip.Struggling dairy farmers and their bankers are being told to just hold on until this summer when USDA will finally be ready to sign up dairy producers for the Dairy Margin Coverage program.“This program isn’t perfect, but it’s the best thing that we’ve had in dairy in a long time,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.


Managing Water for a Nutritious Food Future

The Chicago Council | Posted onApril 18, 2019 in Agriculture News

Approximately 2.4 billion people live in water-scarce regions. Driven by population growth, rising consumption, urbanization, and energy needs, demand for water continues to increase. According to a new report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a combination of careful management strategies, technological innovations, investments, and policies are imperative to address the challenges of water scarcity. 


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