Saturday, April 30, 2011
1 David Dukes
3 Katy Dukes Longfellow
4 Haley Green
4 Dee Qualls
5 Carolyn Hull
6 Jo Lynn Schoenmann
7 Nathan Drake
7 Barb Jackson
7 Jo Young Latham
7 Lenore King
7 Brenda Murphy
7 Christina Stroburg Degase
7 Mary Stroburg
8 Lacee Lawrence Hughes
8 Sherri Smith
9 Stan Amrine
9 Edna Dukes
10 Connie Guthrie
13 Sara Musich King
15 Earl Drake
15 Tim Melvin
15 Wayne Poore
16 Karyn Graham
16 Taylor Kahn
17 Marlene Stewart
18 Rachel Amrine
18 Laura Castillo
19 Barb Freeman
19 Destiny Drake
19 Colt Ridge
22 Erin Smith Parks
22 Kirk Smith
25 Dave Vose
26 Jason King
26 Daniel Wall
26 Dean Bentley
27 Selina O’Connor
27 Cindy Qualls
28 Myranda Drake
28 Keith Walters
31 Troy Farrens
31 Jane Saville
8 Richard & Joyce Brown
12 Rusty & Tammy Faubion
14 Ken & Linda Gray Smith
15 Glen & Clara Bell Hull
17 Jeff & Connie Guthrie
22 Scott & Debbie Marcum
22 Brent & Vickie Melvin
23 Scott & Michelle Miller
28 Oren & Wanda Campbell
Following the recent string of devastating natural disasters in Missouri, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill urges crop and livestock producers to apply for vital federal programs available through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) designated to help those recover who have been hit by severe flooding or tornados. The FSA administers these programs throughout all affected states in order to help crucial farmland get back to operating condition as soon as possible.
“The recent storms have been devastating to so many farmers who have for so long kept Missouri’s agricultural industry thriving. I hope that these programs will help producers begin the long process of getting back on their feet during this difficult time,” McCaskill said.
Among the key programs available to address impacts from disasters are the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), the Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program.
For more information on all of these programs, visit the FSA’s website here.
Gov. Jay Nixon today announced his veto of Senate Bill 188 during a ceremony on the steps of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. Unless vetoed, the bill would undermine key provisions of the Missouri Human Rights Act, the Governor said.
“Senate Bill 188 would undermine key provisions of the Missouri Human Rights Act, rolling back decades of progress in protecting civil rights,” Gov. Nixon said. “The bill would make it harder to prove discrimination in the workplace, and would throw new hurdles in the path of those whose rights have been violated. That is unacceptable, and it stops here.”
The Governor said that Missourians “have an obligation to put a stop to discrimination and dismantle barriers of prejudice wherever they exist – in the workplace, in housing or in the public square.”
The bill has drawn criticism from a broad coalition of Missourians, including many disability and civil rights groups. Opponents of the legislation include the Anti-Defamation League; the American Cancer Society; the AARP; the NAACP; Paraquad; the AFL-CIO; the League of Women Voters; the LegislativeBlack Caucus; the Missouri Association for the Deaf; PROMO; the National Alliance on Mental Illness; Missouri Centers for Independent Living; Missouri NOW; the Urban League; theMissouri Association for Social Welfare; the Whole Person; and the St. Louis Clergy Coalition,among others.
“Making it easier for Missouri companies to discriminate against people with disabilities or cancer, against women, older workers and minorities, and against those of different faiths and ethnicities will not help us create jobs or be more competitive in a global economy,” Gov. Nixon said. “To thrive in a global economy and uphold these values that we share, Missouri must be a state that continues to move forward – not backward − when it comes to civil rights and equal opportunity.”
Gov. Nixon urged Missourians to take action to prevent his veto from being overridden by legislators in the final two weeks of the legislative session.
For more information about Senate Bill 188, go to MO.gov.
Grilling season is upon us with the arrival of warmer temperatures and longer days. People tend to think of hamburgers, steaks, brats, and hot dogs for grill entrees. Why not try zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, or portabella mushrooms? Move over meat and make room for the fruits and vegetables.
Research has shown that Americans do not consume enough fruits and vegetables each day. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for 2010 provides three key reasons why people should increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. First, fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients that are missing in many of our diets including dietary fiber, potassium, folate, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Secondly, eating fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of many chronic diseases. It has been shown that intake of at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables daily reduces the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Finally, fruits and vegetables are low in calories when prepared in a healthy way without added fats and sugars. Eating fruits and vegetables instead of high calorie foods may help with weight loss or maintenance of an already healthy weight.
Grilling provides us with another opportunity to prepare these healthy fruits and vegetables in a quick and different way. Sometimes people comment, “Everything tastes better on the grill” which can hold true for fruits and vegetables also. Many times people do not like eggplant, zucchini, or asparagus until they try it grilled. Taste is not the only benefit. Vegetables and fruit cook so quickly on the grill that they retain much of their vitamin and nutrient content which is another bonus.
For preparation it is best to have the grill warm but not as hot as you would for grilling meat. Lightly brush the vegetables with olive oil and put directly on the grill, turning until tender. Try larger hunks like half of a green pepper, large slices of squash, or portabella mushroom caps which are large enough to sit on the grates without falling through. A grill basket, aluminum foil pan, or kabobs can also be used. If you prefer steamed veggies, wrap the vegetables in aluminum foil with a little olive oil and your favorite marinade or spices. Seal and place on grill, turning occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until veggies are tender.
Experiment with different spices, marinades, and sauces when preparing fruits and vegetables. Don’t be afraid to try out various flavors. Store bought mixes and marinades may have extra sodium, sugar, and calories compared to your specialized homemade version. Balsamic vinegar or other flavored vinegars are great to use to drizzle over grilled vegetables or to use in a marinade.
Let’s not forget about dessert. Fruits on the grill make a sweet treat. Firmer fruits like apples, pears, and pineapple are perfect for grilling. However, other fruits like peaches and mangoes can also be delicious, but need to be monitored more closely when grilling to prevent overcooking which causes them to be mushy. Try cutting a fresh peach in half; remove the pit, brush lightly with olive oil, and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add a dollop of light whipped topping or low fat frozen yogurt for a yummy treat.
Remember to always practice safe grilling techniques and food safety when preparing any food. Now go grab your fruits, vegetables, and a sense of adventure and head outside to enjoy some great grilled dishes. For more information on this or any other nutrition or health topic please contact Kelli Wilmes at email@example.com or call (660) 582-8101.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
to help pay for his continuing education. Austin is the son of Jeff and Deb Thummel of Sheridan, Mo. He is a senior at Worth County High School and plans to attend Northwest Missouri State University where he will study agronomy.
This is the fifteenth year Missouri Corn Scholarships have been available for high
school and college students. High school applicants must be in their senior year
and Missouri residents from a Missouri farm or rural area. They must also plan
to attend a two-year or four-year Missouri college or university and major in agronomy or related subject. College applicants must also be Missouri residents from a Missouri farm or rural area and be a junior enrolled in a Missouri four-year college or university majoring in the field of agronomy or related subject.
Applications for the 2012 Missouri Corn Scholarship program will be available online
after Dec. 15, 2011.
Today’s youth Twitter and Skype, Facebook with friends, and text on their phones at lightning speed. They also create good videos. This YouTube crowd created videos for Farm Bureau in a first-ever video contest asking FFA chapters to tell the story of agriculture in their own unique way.
The winning results were shown at the state FFA convention in April, and they were unique. FFAers continue to shine a bright future on agriculture.
These days, the U.S. public seems more concerned about how their food is produced and less concerned about the farm families who produce it. New generations of consumers far removed from the farm have lost track of agriculture. Their image of the red barn and barnyard persists. As consumers have progressed in their food choices, farmers have progressed in their farm practices. Red barns and barnyards are out, satellites and micronutrients are in.
Enter our modern FFA students, armed with computer savvy, smartphones and video cameras. They understand the today’s farm-to-food connection and are proud to share it.
This year’s winning video entry came from the Trenton FFA chapter. The video opens with a professional dog breeder explaining how the strict regulations proposed in Proposition B would shut her and other breeders down. The video cuts to students explaining why they are involved in agriculture.
A video from the Jackson chapter begins with full plates of food, cutting to an empty plate, then asking and later answering the question, “Why do we need agriculture?”
Beginning with the words “I believe...”, students from the McDonald County chapter use the FFA creed to tell their story. Every FFA student knows the creed. Although it was written in 1930, its meaning is as contemporary today as it was then.
The last paragraph of the creed states: “I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.”
The creed’s author, E.M. Tiffany, knew nothing about smartphones and the Internet, but he did understand the impact of youth.
FFA students, armed with technology, are influencing not only their rural communities but anyone with online access. They realize their future in the industry does not include red barns and barnyards. They have the means to shape consumers’ perceptions of agriculture more than any generation before them. Encourage them to speak out for agriculture to preserve their place in it.
To see the six finalists in the FFA video contest go to mofb.org and click on the FFA icon on the left.
(Chris Fennewald, of Jefferson City, Mo., is editor of publications for Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.)
The Department recently received a report that a citizen received a call from someone who represented himself as “representing the state of Missouri.” The phone caller stated that he had an “income tax rebate” for the citizen, but that he would need the citizen’s credit card number and expiration date to complete the transaction.
“No employee of the Missouri Department of Revenue will ever contact someone to get a person’s credit card number to process an income tax refund,” said Alana M. Barragán-Scott, the Department’s director. “Scam artists sometimes falsely represent themselves as agents of the government in an attempt to get people’s confidential financial information. The Department urges citizens to ignore these dishonest, would-be thieves.”
If people have questions about tax refunds, they can call the Department of Revenue at (573) 751-3505 or email the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. To report a local scam, please contact the secure phone line at the Worth County Sheriff's Department at (660) 564-2222.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
John William Midyett, 87, Parnell, Missouri died April 22, 2011 in Grant City, Missouri. He was born May 3, 1923 to John H. and Elizabeth (Heffern) Midyett.
John graduated from the Parnell High School in 1941. He served in the United States
Army Air Corps during the European Theatre in World War II. He worked for the city of Parnell water department and was a carpenter. John was an active member of the American Legion Post #528 in Parnell, Missouri. He helped with the boy scouts for several years.
John was preceded in death by his parents; one infant sister: Kathlean Midyett and a nephew: Bob Welch.
Surviving are sister: Elizabeth Welch of Parnell; 2 nieces: Marilyn Welch and Kathy O’Banion, both of St. Joseph, Missouri and 4 nephews: Greg, Tom, Kevin and Mark Welch, all of Parnell.
John will be sadly missed by family and friends. At John’s request there will be no services held. Arrangements are under the direction of the Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City, Missouri. Memorial may be made to the American Legion Post #528 in Parnell.
1. Presiding Commissioner Findley brought the meeting to order at 9:01
2. Motion by Gabbert to approve amended minutes. Ruckman seconded. Motion carried.
3. Commissioner Ruckman motion to approve Minutes and Agenda. Commissioner Gabbert seconded. Motion approved.
4. Motion by Ruckman to approve the bills. Gabbert seconded. Motion carried.
5. Treasurer, Linda Brown presented the Treasurer’s report.
6. Ruckman reported gas prices from MFA as $3.609 for gas, and $3.929 for diesel.
7. EMD Pat Kobbe came to request the 1961 Disaster paper trail. She presented a list of meetings. There will be a FEMA meeting on Friday April 15th at 11:00am, and an Ag Terrorist meeting Thurs. April 14th at Bethany at 10:30am.
8. Bid Openings-The commissioners received 3 bids for gravel hauling. S &S trucking, Wieland Trucking, and Roger Robertson. Gabbert made a motion to accept Robertson’s bid at $5.10 a ton for rock, and $6.25 a ton for rip rap. Ruckman seconded. Motion carried.
10. County Officials-
11. Earl Schrock came to discuss fixing the Judges chamber by removing the loose plaster, replacing it, and then painting that area only. Clerk Owens checked with the Insurance Company previously and they had oked the amount. Ruckman made a motion to accept Schrock’s bid. Gabbert seconded. Motion carried. Schrock also turned in quotes for some other areas that need attention.
Richard Hunt called to request cost share on CR 228.
12. Road and Bridge supervisor Jim Fletchall report.
· Reported fire damage to a tube on CR 73. Patron will have to buy tube if needed.
· Deputy presented note from David Hardy about brush on CR 230.
· Problems with big tube on Clint Larison’s road.
· Tree down on CR 199, Ruckman will take care of it. The road needs worked up.
13. Motion by Gabbert, second by Ruckman to adjourn for lunch at 11:45
Commissioner Findley opened the afternoon session at 1:15 pm
14. Vernon Coy, KCPL met with the commissioners to discuss the external wiring around the courthouse. He gave his recommendations. Coy will come back Friday at 1:30 to do the measuring and preliminary work.
15. The commissioners met with David Baird to discuss the brush law, cell phone policy, roof, and funds for the Sesquicentennial Celebration.
16. Commissioner Gabbert called Tye Parson’s about a date for household solid waste removal. The date is set for June 4th. Items can be taken to the County Barn.
17. Motion to adjourn at 2:55 pm by Ruckman. Gabbert seconded. Motion carried.
1. Presiding Commissioner Findley brought the meeting to order at 9:06
2. Motion by Gabbert to approve minutes. Ruckman seconded. Motion carried.
3. Commissioner Ruckman motion to approve Minutes and Agenda. Commissioner Gabbert seconded. Motion approved.
4. Treasurer, Linda Brown presented the Treasurer’s report, General Ledger Weekly Balance sheet.
5. Motion by Ruckman to approve the bills. Gabbert seconded. Motion carried.
6. Ruckman reported gas prices from MFA as $3.659 for gas, and $3.999 for diesel.
7. Economic Developer Charity Austin updated the commissioners on the progress of the Enhanced Enterprise Zone. She will be in the Clerks office most of this week working on the contract. Clerk Owens will get email addresses for each of the board members, then set up a town hall meeting. The construction of the Gazebo will begin on May 14th. Clerk Owens will call
Dig Rite to report that construction, as well as the digging that needs to be done to install electrical lines in the courtyard. We will also have them check the area where the sewer lines were run, so that area can be cleaned up.
8. Vernon Coy, Nick Combs, and Tim Combs came to discuss the wiring project for the courthouse and Gazebo. The project includes removing overhead wiring to the shelter house, and replacing the existing boxes and plugs. They will also run underground wire to the Gazebo that will be placed in the northwest corner of the courtyard. The wiring will run from the CT Meter on the east side of the building. They need 350’ of wire to go to the Gazebo, and 150’ to go to the shelter house. Coy advised the commissioners to call Dan Heggeman to see if KCP&L would help with the purchase of the wiring.
9. Road and Bridge supervisor Jim Fletchall report.
· Fletchall talked to Wayne Hayse, and he will work on brush removal on CR 231, but it will probably be fall before he can start.
· The crew changed the oil in the dozer and found a hole in the oil pan. It appears too rusty to repair, so the county should probably purchase a new one. Commissioner Ruckman will go look it over, as he may have one that fits.
· Commissioners advised Fletchall to check on paperwork for the February snow storm that was declared a disaster, and see if it would benefit the County to proceed with filing of all necessary paperwork.
· Fletchall informed the commissioners that when they close the bridge on route W, that the best bypass road will be CR 60, 190th road. It is a dirt road, so he fears that there will be a lot of people getting stuck, and having problems. The next road north that could be used as a bypass is very narrow, and Fletchall worries that someone will have an accident. The commissioners decided that in anticipation of the bridge closing on route W, Worth County, in trying to get a possible bypass in better condition will offer an extra incentive program of 100% match for gravel to be put on immediately. MoDot is designating only State Highways as bypasses, so they won’t help with gravel this year. The dirt areas will need 2 inch rock or larger rock applied to it. This is being made available to land owners adjacent to the road, and also any other patrons in the area that will be using the road, and would want to help out. This 100% match will only be available during the time that the bridge is out. There will be other bridges in the county being closed that will be looked at later.
· Clerk Owens will put a small ad in both newspapers, and also will send out letters to the appropriate land owners explaining this project.
Gabbert made a motion to go into closed session at 11:14 to discuss personnel issues with Fletchall. Roll vote, Gabber aye, Ruckman aye, Findley aye.
Ruckman made a motion to come out of closed session at 11:45. Roll vote, Gabbert aye, Ruckman aye, Findley aye.
10. Motion by Ruckman, second by Ruckman to adjourn for lunch at 12:15
Commissioner Findley opened the afternoon session at 1:45 pm
11. Sheriff Terry Sheddrick brought in his Equitable Sharing Agreement for Presiding Commissioner Findley to sign.
He also asked if the county road crew could cut up the brush lying on the east side of the building then he would volunteer to haul it off.
12. Robert Scott from Grand River Mutual Telephone Company called to request clearance on installing fiber cable to the Denver Mo area. The work will be contracted out but will be watched closely by Grand River Mutual. They will be burying cable in the ditches. Commissioners Ruckman, Gabbert, and Findley all agreed to let them do the work.
13. Commissioner Ruckman called Windstream to see about burying the phone line cable in the courtyard. They requested a statement in writing. Clerk Owens will write the letter and send it to them.
14. Commissioner Findley made a request to Deputy Tony Steele to come and do a presentation on drugs that are being found in the area. Deputy Steele and Sheriff Sheddrick came and presented pictures of Meth trash that is being found in the area. They also gave some interesting drug facts. Most of the courthouse employees attended.
15. Clerk Owens presented the Certification of passage of the $. 35 temporary tax levy to the commissioners. The levy passed with a vote of 320 to 123. There was a 28 % voter turnout. 441 of the 1,592 registered voters participated in the April Election.
16. Motion to adjourn at 3:30 pm by Ruckman. Gabbert seconded. Motion carried.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Earthquakes – and large ones at that – threaten to shake residents and buildings of the central and eastern United States, a reality that scientists, emergency responders and others hope to drive home during the bicentennial of the 1811 and 1812 New Madrid earthquakes. Scientific presentations and discussions about these historic events and recent major earthquakes conclude today at the annual Seismological Society of America Meeting in Memphis.
During 1811-12, the central Mississippi River Valley was violently shaken by a series of three earthquakes above a magnitude 7, and up to 200 aftershocks between magnitude 4 and 7.
A similar risk exists today in the New Madrid seismic zone, which threatens Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Recent projections by the U.S. Geological Survey place the likelihood of a magnitude 6 or higher earthquake at about 25-50 percent over the next few decades, whereas a magnitude 7 or higher has a 10 percent chance of occurring.
New Madrid Earthquake Bicentennial
With large cities like Memphis, St. Louis, and Nashville well within range of a large-scale New Madrid earthquake, understanding the science of earthquakes and the area’s geologic history helps communities prepare for earthquake hazards and prevent them from becoming catastrophes.
“If we build good buildings, there’s no reason any building should collapse; there’s no reason any person should die in an earthquake,” said Dr. Michael Blanpied, associate coordinator of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. He and other scientists from around the globe are discussing this hazard as well as recent seismic events that have occurred, including the Japanese and New Zealand earthquakes. The meeting concludes on Friday.
Blanpied emphasized that residents outside of the west coast need to realize that earthquakes can affect them too. In fact, earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. can have far greater effects than their western equivalents. Western rock is fairly young, which means it absorbs a lot of the shaking caused by earthquakes. Thus, western earthquakes result in intense shaking close to the epicenter, but fade quickly the farther they travel.
Not so in the central and eastern United States.
“Here, the rocks are old, and really ring like a bell when an earthquake strikes,” Blanpied explains. The result—large earthquakes in the central and eastern states can travel nearly half the distance of the continental United States. The February 1812 New Madrid earthquake was felt as far east as North and South Carolina, some 750 miles away from the epicenter in New Madrid, in what would become the state of Missouri.
The source of these earthquakes was the Reelfoot fault, part of a 120-mile-long New Madrid seismic zone. This seismic zone is a system of faults that lies well within the North American tectonic plate, as opposed to the more familiar faults that mark the boundaries between plates.
For more information on the earthquake science of the New Madrid seismic zone, please listen to a Corecast interview with Mike Blanpied, available here. More information about New Madrid earthquakes can be found online.
Additional information about the history and events related to the New Madrid Bicentennial may be found at the New Madrid Bicentennial website and Central U.S. Great Shakeout website. A recent USGS publication about residents being prepared can be found at Putting Down Roots.
Most successful endeavors begin with a vision and that vision becomes reality through a well executed plan. Therefore, in order for our state to enjoy long term economic prosperity, we must have a vision for our future, a comprehensive, long term economic development plan, and a well prepared workforce ready to make that plan a reality. Most importantly, we must be willing to stop doing what is not working and reallocate those resources towards our vision and our plan.
In March of this year, a strategic initiatives group appointed by the Governor released a strategic economic development plan and vision for the future of our state. This plan identified eight high growth industries in which Missouri has strategic opportunities because of established Missouri companies, geographical or logistical benefits, and/or unique Missouri strengths. With a vision and a proposed plan, we must now work to invest the resources necessary to make the plan a reality.
In order to make the plan a reality, it will take an investment of financial resources. Financial incentives have become a central component of any state’s economic development plan; however, Missouri’s expenditures on these programs have far outgrown their original intent and/or plan thereby leaving the taxpayers shortchanged. With over sixty separate programs and very little accountability, the time has come to reduce both the number and the cost of these programs. Most importantly, we must begin reallocating these resources in alignment with our long term plan so that Missouri’s taxpayers are getting an adequate return on their investments.
With limited resources and difficult budgets ahead, we must focus on the opportunities that provide the greatest long term benefits to our state. We must ensure that our economic incentive packages are used to support emerging industries and the type of companies that fulfill this vision. By making the investments necessary to implement the plan, we will raise the overall economic production of our state thereby improving the quality of life for all Missourians.
As always, please feel free to call, email, or write with your ideas or concerns. The Capitol number is (573) 751-1415, my email is email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 422, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Missouri Division of Finance says scam artists may be targeting consumers who hold mortgages, apply for loans or do other types of financial business in the state. The division says homeowners in Missouri have received bogus mailings inviting them to join a nonexistent class-action lawsuit. Other homeowners have been told to send their mortgage payments to a scammer claiming to be the new processor for the lender.
In another case, a division investigator working undercover applied for an online payday loan. He was then contacted repeatedly by a debt collector claiming he was behind on payments for that loan - while the loan had not even been approved by the lender. There have been reports from across the country that some consumers have sent money in response to these fraudulent collection efforts.
"Consumers with home loans need to know that some of their information is publicly available, including their property deed, the name of their lender and the amount borrowed," said Rich Weaver, commissioner of the Missouri Division of Finance. "This can attract con artists, so Missourians should be highly suspicious of any solicitation, debt collection call or other contact that comes from someone other than their lender."
Weaver offers the following tips for Missouri consumers:
· If you're not past due on your loan, don't believe a stranger who says otherwise.
· If there's any doubt about the balance or status of your loan, contact your lender.
· If contacted by a debt collector, verify with your lender that you owe the money and that the collector is authorized to collect the debt.
· Never give personal information to anyone who contacts you by phone or e-mail; only give out the information when you initiate the contact.
To file a complaint against a bank or lender, or to ask general questions about financial issues, consumers can contact the Division of Finance at 888-246-7225 or visit finance.mo.gov.
The Missouri Division of Finance regulates more than 6,000 financial institutions and individuals in the state, including banks, the residential mortgage industry and consumer lenders.
By Garrett Hawkins
My soon to be two-year-old daughter loves story time, and Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance ranks at the top of our “most read” list. Admittedly, I enjoy reciting it (yes, I pretty much have it memorized) as much as she enjoys listening to me and looking at the pictures. “Stomp your feet. Clap your hands. Everybody ready for a barnyard dance” the book begins as farm animals pick their partners, promenade and square dance around a barn lot.
The clapping, hand stomping, promenading and dosidoing in the book are akin to the debate in Washington, D.C., concerning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some members of Congress applaud the agency and are willing to let EPA call the moves when it comes to regulating agriculture and industry. Other lawmakers, especially those from farm states, stomp their feet and throw their hands in the air in frustration at the barrage of regulations, particularly those aimed at farmers and ranchers.
Just a few weeks ago both chambers of Congress debated EPA’s regulations for utilities, refineries, manufacturers and other emitters of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. The House of Representatives approved a bill, “The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011,” to prohibit EPA from regulating these gases from stationary sources for the purpose of curbing global warming or climate change. The same legislation was considered in the Senate, although in the form of an amendment to a small business bill.
When some lawmakers got wind Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was offering an amendment to stop EPA from moving ahead with its onerous regulations, they scrambled to find a dance partner with different moves. Seven senators supported an amendment to exempt farms and ranches from regulation, side-stepping the issue of higher energy and input costs that will result from forcing utilities and refineries to comply with new greenhouse gas permitting requirements. Twelve senators, including Senator Claire McCaskill, voted to simply delay EPA regulation for two years.
The McConnell amendment, which was backed by Farm Bureau, had the support of Senator Blunt and 49 other senators, but fell 10 votes shy of the 60 needed for passage. Therefore states are continuing with amending their regulations to comply with EPA’s new rules. The Missouri Air Conservation Commission, for example, must soon decide whether Missouri will comply, or allow EPA to issue permits to regulated entities in the state.
The debate or dance is certain to continue on this issue; however the longer Congress takes to rein in EPA, the more difficult it will be to undo what has been done. We can only hope the story has a happy ending for farmers and ranchers and the consumers who depend on them for their food.
(Garrett Hawkins, of Jefferson City, Mo., is the director of national legislative programs for Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.)
3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken Formation—25 Times More Than 1995 Estimate—
North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.
A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10, shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.
3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Oil in North Dakota and Montana
Technically recoverable oil resources are those producible using currently available technology and industry practices. USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources.
New geologic models applied to the Bakken Formation, advances in drilling and production technologies, and recent oil discoveries have resulted in these substantially larger technically recoverable oil volumes. About 105 million barrels of oil were produced from the Bakken Formation by the end of 2007.
The USGS Bakken study was undertaken as part of a nationwide project assessing domestic petroleum basins using standardized methodology and protocol as required by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 2000.
The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest "continuous" oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS. A "continuous" oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences. The next largest "continuous" oil accumulation in the U.S. is in the Austin Chalk of Texas and Louisiana, with an undiscovered estimate of 1.0 billions of barrels of technically recoverable oil.
"It is clear that the Bakken formation contains a significant amount of oil - the question is how much of that oil is recoverable using today's technology?" said Senator Byron Dorgan, of North Dakota. "To get an answer to this important question, I requested that the U.S. Geological Survey complete this study, which will provide an up-to-date estimate on the amount of technically recoverable oil resources in the Bakken Shale formation."
The USGS estimate of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil has a mean value of 3.65 billion barrels. Scientists conducted detailed studies in stratigraphy and structural geology and the modeling of petroleum geochemistry. They also combined their findings with historical exploration and production analyses to determine the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil estimates.
USGS worked with the North Dakota Geological Survey, a number of petroleum industry companies and independents, universities and other experts to develop a geological understanding of the Bakken Formation. These groups provided critical information and feedback on geological and engineering concepts important to building the geologic and production models used in the assessment.
Five continuous assessment units (AU) were identified and assessed in the Bakken Formation of North Dakota and Montana - the Elm Coulee-Billings Nose AU, the Central Basin-Poplar Dome AU, the Nesson-Little Knife Structural AU, the Eastern Expulsion Threshold AU, and the Northwest Expulsion Threshold AU.
At the time of the assessment, a limited number of wells have produced oil from three of the assessments units in Central Basin-Poplar Dome, Eastern Expulsion Threshold, and Northwest Expulsion Threshold.
The Elm Coulee oil field in Montana, discovered in 2000, has produced about 65 million barrels of the 105 million barrels of oil recovered from the Bakken Formation.
Results of the assessment can be found at http://energy.usgs.gov.