Letter to Hampton Chronicle

Dear Editor,

The Chronicle is to be congratulated for criticizing Senator Grassley for not allowing a vote on Obama’s possible Supreme Court nominee. If we are expected to obey the law, our senators should do the same.

But in its editorial, “Wind energy windfall,” The Chronicle is wrong in praising the “growth of renewable energy sources.” This growth comes at a cost that is not readily seen by consumers or lovers of nature.

Consumers pay more for energy through lost revenue to the state because of tax incentives. The artificially low prices on our electric bills do not reflect this. Also, real alternative energy technologies are not pursued because the fake low prices discourage a need for further research.

In 2013 Barack Obama exempted wind energy companies from the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. If we as individuals harmed an eagle, we would be subject to a $250,000 fine and two years in prison.

Originally this nation was formed as a group whose sole purpose was to protect us as individuals. Now powerful organizations have taken that power away from us.

We pay more for the energy we use because our politicians prefer monied interests over the people they are elected (or appointed) to protect.

I watched an eagle soar over our farm this morning and it reminded me of this  video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NAAzBArYdw.

If you have the capability, watch it. It is thirty seconds long. If not, ask a friend to help.


Fritz Groszkruger, Dumont

This is in response to this:

Chronicle Editorial

Grassley on wrong side of SCOTUS issue

As if the 2016 presidential campaign wasn’t crazy enough, Americans now have to endure the highly politicized fight over the next Supreme Court justice. And just like the presidential race, Iowans are playing a unique role as the contentious battle unfolds.

The stakes are incredibly high. The Supreme Court is now split with four liberal judges and four conservatives following the death of former Justice Antonin Scalia. President Barack Obama’s nominee would give the Supreme Court its first liberal majority in decades, which is not lost on the Republican-controlled Congress. Iowa’s own Sen. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has vowed not to hold hearings on Obama’s nominee until the election is over. The decision has placed Grassley in hot water after many lawmakers criticized the senator for backing out on his responsibilities.

Making the situation more interesting is Jane Kelly, one of the frontrunners for Scalia’s replacement. Kelly is a federal appellate judge in Iowa and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2013. Back then, she received high praise from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers who lauded her experience and résumé. Grassley himself said he was “pleased to support her confirmation” and urged his colleagues to join him.

The Supreme Court hot potato seems to be a lose-lose situation for Grassley. By failing to hold nomination hearings, the nation’s highest court will be left in limbo for more than a year. Grassley is also creating a public relations nightmare for the Republican Party during an important presidential election. Many critics have chastised the GOP for relying on obstructionist politics to rule the country, and that sentiment will only intensify if Grassley follows through on his promise to block Obama’s nominee. That could lead to costly repercussions in November when Americans head to the ballot box.

Public opinion seems to be against Grassley’s decision. A poll released last week by CNN and ORC International found that 66 percent of Americans believe the Senate Judiciary Committee should hold hearings on Obama’s eventual nominee, while 32 percent felt the hearings should wait. Other polls have resulted in similar findings.

It’s clear the issue has slim odds at a quick resolution, however, Grassley should at least allow nomination hearings this year. The motivations behind the veteran legislator’s decision are purely partisan and only work to divide American politics further. While his reasoning is understandable, Grassley should listen to public outcry and honor the responsibilities of his powerful position. Waiting until 2017 is simply too long.


Wind energy windfall

Iowa is well known as the nation’s No. 1 producer of corn, pork, eggs and ethanol, but the state can now add another entry to its list of notable achievements: Top consumer of renewable wind energy.

According to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, wind turbines generated 31.3 percent of all electricity used in the Hawkeye State last year. The figure was No. 1 in the nation and marked the first time Iowa hit the 30 percent threshold in history.

The news coincides with the state’s efforts to promote wind energy as a viable alternative to non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels. Many rural counties, including Franklin County, have benefited from this economic boon. Thousands of windmills have popped up across Iowa’s rolling landscape in the past decade, which has created jobs, expanded the tax base and generated vital revenue for infrastructure improvements.

Though some may feel the wind energy industry is over-subsidized and impractical, it appears to be making important strides at strengthening its presence in Iowa. State lawmakers and industry leaders should capitalize on this momentum by increasing investment in other renewable energy sources like solar power. This seems like the most logical step as the United States becomes more proactive about its global environmental footprint. The growth of renewable energy sources is promising, but Iowa and the rest of the nation must keep the ball rolling if America is to cut carbon emissions and reduce oil consumption.

– See more at: http://hamptonchronicle.com/content/chronicle-editorial-130#sthash.8vOYEIZR.dpuf

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