Environmental Freedom

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“It is gratifying to me, of course, to hold the undisputed world’s title.  I am glad it is held in America, glad that I brought it here.  But I mean my life to be more than a mere wrestling exhibition.  I expect to be an Iowa farmer all my life, and make my life worth something.  I hope that every year may find me a little better man in some way than I was the year before.

I want to be a good citizen and a helpful, useful man.”

Frank Gotch Signature

Frank A Gotch

The best thing the government can do right now in regards to advances or alternatives to burning coal and natural gas for energy, or to the internal combustion engine or transportation in general, is get out of the way. We can allow for a freer market for energy and transportation. We can allow for the fairest possible competition between biofuel, gas, and electric. One day electrical vehicles may be ideal but as of the moment about 30% of our electricity in the USA still comes from coal and we make another 34% by burning natural gas. It doesn’t matter if your electric car has no emissions if the electricity it uses is still coming from burning coal or natural gas.

 Hydrogen powered vehicles are another alternative on the horizon that are very appealing to me because hydrogen can be produced domestically and it burns cleanly. I feel that a freer market would allow for hydrogen powered vehicles to become a familiar competitor much sooner! There is also the potential for photo-voltaic cells powering public transportation using solar energy directly. I see great things on the horizon in terms of earth friendly transportation! Iowa can help ensure the horizon comes sooner rather than later.

Government subsidized agribusiness pollution is a leading cause of the dead zones that plague waters from the Chesapeake Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Ruminant digestion and manure management associated with domestic livestock in subsidized CAFO settings and soil cultivation practices in regards to subsidized mass monoculture are among the biggest ways that humans negatively impact the environment. They also threaten Iowans economic and agricultural freedoms in terms of recreational opportunities, water quality, and free market competition.  I propose that we phase out large agricultural subsidies on mono-culture and CAFOS. We should end the renewable fuel standard. Corn has not proven to be an ideal crop for bio-fuel or animal feed and the production of corn ethanol has actually had a negative impact on the environment. To protect farmers that have invested in government aided markets we can ease away from them with subsidies for farmers that agree to meet soil conservation and water quality goals. I also believe that we need to investigate cronyism in terms of eminent domain abuse and that we need to reform civil justice so that farmers that contribute to issues such as excessive nitrates can be made to build additional costs into their business models. I have both hemp and raw dairy freedom built into my agricultural freedom plan. Hemp and raw dairy could help reverse trends in many of our counties that are declining in population. Hemp and raw dairy freedoms are good starting points that would both provide additional ways to make income for farmers that want to try new things.

My father grew up on a farm in Minnesota and I have worked my own acreage when I have been able to make the time to. I believe that hemp and or cannabis farming would be best combined with a multi-cropping plan and to mix a cash crop, cover crop, and animal feed crops (Hemp Seed products), with other grasses, rye, and prairie restoration efforts. Something like this would provide the most sustainable situation. To me if you have the acres why would you not want to find perennials that can both make money, restore pollinator populations, and help with the nitrogen problem? A comprehensive state-wide strategy for reducing nutrients would have economic benefits, as well as show improvements to drinking water, recreation and health. I wholeheartedly believe more people would already be doing this if not for the way that the government has impacted the family farm.

Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate. Marco Battaglia is running to be Iowa’s 44th Governor, and the first since James W. Grimes not to be from the Democratic or Republican parties. Marco Battaglia firmly believes that Iowans deserve the freedom to choose for themselves how they work the land. 

learn more at www.marcoforgovernor.com