Ag + Environment

Iowa House panel advances bill to reduce reports for coal plants

BY: - January 31, 2023

An Iowa House subcommittee advanced a bill Tuesday that would eliminate a requirement for electric utilities to submit biennial reports about their plans to control emissions from coal-powered plants. House Study Bill 73 is identical to one that got preliminary approval from a Senate subcommittee earlier this month. It would make optional the multiyear plans […]

New bill would allow ‘airbows’ for Iowa deer hunting

BY: - January 31, 2023

New legislation that would allow deer hunters to use weapons that propel arrows with compressed air advanced Tuesday from an Iowa Senate subcommittee. So-called airbows are a relatively new weapon that some states allow for hunting. They are similar to a crossbow in that they use scopes to aim and are powerful and accurate. But […]

Judge: Pipeline trespassing case should go to trial

BY: - January 31, 2023

A district court judge has rejected a request to dismiss the trespassing charge against a land surveyor who attempted to evaluate a northwest Iowa property in August for Summit Carbon Solutions, according to court records. A tenant of the property had previously turned away another Summit survey crew in April 2022 and told them not […]

New bill would expand farmers’ ability to trap or kill varmints

BY: - January 30, 2023

Several wild animals could be trapped or killed without state permission if they pose a “nuisance” to farmers, under an Iowa House bill that was discussed Monday. Those animals include coyotes, groundhogs, opossums, raccoons and skunks. The new legislation — House File 118, introduced by Dean Fisher, a Garwin Republican — follows a significant increase […]

USDA to use outdoors recreation to boost economy around national forests, grasslands

BY: - January 30, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture began planning this month to develop outdoor recreation opportunities near national forests and grasslands, part of a broader Biden administration push to help communities reap economic rewards from the growing recreation sector. Three USDA agencies — the U.S. Forest Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and […]

Offshore wind will need major investments in transmission, supply chain, reports say

BY: - January 29, 2023

Achieving the aggressive offshore wind power goals of the federal government and individual states will require billions of dollars in spending on transmission infrastructure, according to a pair of new reports. Researchers said reaching the goals would also need “unprecedented” cooperation between grid operators and federal and state agencies, and programs would be aided by […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa lawmakers focus attention on China, agriculture

BY: - January 28, 2023

Iowa’s congressional delegation focused much of its attention on China and agriculture this week, while Rep. Ashley Hinson helped introduce legislation that that expands Pell Grant eligibility. Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley introduced multiple bills, including several addressing pharmaceutical costs, foreign lobbying and child sex abuse. Grassley introduced the Preventing Child Sex Abuse Act with Sen. […]

Pipeline survey law enforcement varies by county

BY: - January 27, 2023

Three Lee County residents say land surveyors for a carbon dioxide pipeline company went onto their properties without giving required notice of the surveys but that law enforcement officers have so far declined to charge the surveyors with trespassing. Navigator CO2 Ventures is one of three companies that intend to build pipelines to carry captured […]

White House launches new push to help states remove lead pipes that carry drinking water

BY: - January 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday announced plans to speed up the use of infrastructure law funds to replace lead pipes in underserved communities, with a focus on Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin beginning this year. The four states, each led by Democratic governors, will be part of what’s called the Lead Service […]

GOP U.S. House passes bill opening more public land to development if reserve oil is tapped

BY: - January 27, 2023

U.S. House Republicans passed a bill Friday to force the White House to make more federal land and waters available for oil and gas development if the president orders the withdrawal of more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The bill, passed 221-205, mostly along party lines, would strip the president’s power to remove oil from […]

Public lands near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters withdrawn from federal mining leases

BY: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — After more than a year of assessment and debate, the U.S. Department of the Interior on Thursday announced the withdrawal of more than 225,000 acres of public lands near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota from federal mine leasing programs. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland signed Public Land Order 7917, which […]

Lawmakers might loosen reporting requirements for electrical utilities with coal plants

BY: - January 26, 2023

Two bills under consideration by the Iowa Senate would either lessen or strengthen the reporting requirements of electrical utilities with coal plants, but lawmakers have so far favored loosening the regulations. One bill that would reduce reporting requirements has received preliminary approval by a Senate subcommittee. Another bill that would require more robust reporting — […]