Environment

Rural communities have an abundance of natural resources and often have an intimate connection to them, whether economic or cultural. Elevating the voices of rural people in discussions about their environment is a crucial component of the work we do at the Center for Rural Affairs. Any discussion about the best ways to foster a healthy environment must include a robust public dialogue that involves rural Americans in decisions about their future.

Advocating for strategies to address climate change, facilitate the adoption of clean energy projects, and encourage the conservation of our soil and water resources are just a few ways we help promote stewardship in rural communities. These efforts also set a conscious course to ensure clean air and water, resilient and sustainable food production, and health for future generations.

We are called on to be good stewards of our environment, and we advocate for changes to protect the places we call home, the resources we depend upon, and the way of life we cherish. Empowering rural communities positions them to leave behind a natural legacy that can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Environment Notes

 

Rural Electrification 2.0: The Transition to a Clean Energy Economy

Rural America faces a conundrum in the expanding development in renewable energy. Many rural areas in the country are providing the infrastructure for a clean energy future through transmission lines, wind turbines, and utility-scale solar. But, much of the power itself is not used locally in rural communities. Many rural communities are dependent on the energy resource mix of their rural electric cooperative. Nationally, these cooperatives derive 67 percent of their energy from fossil fuels.

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Take the Next Step NPPD!

The coal-fired power plant north of Hallam, Nebraska, Sheldon Station, will undergo a partial transition from coal to an exciting and innovative power generation technology. Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), which owns and operates the plant, plans to replace one of the existing coal-fired boilers at Sheldon Station plant with one that uses hydrogen fuel. This is great but it’s a ‘job half-done.’

Iowa sixth-graders urge candidates to address our changing climate

In many ways, Jack Spence and Thomas Sauer are normal sixth grade students.

Jack enjoys playing sports, Thomas’ favorite school subject is social studies, and the two boys have been friends since their elementary years.

In recent months, the duo has been advocating for leaders to prioritize our climate on a national political scale. As presidential candidates flood through their hometown ahead of the Iowa caucuses, the boys are making sure candidates hear questions about the changing climate and its impact on rural Iowa, from the youth.