Tag Archives: Farm

The Winds of Change ~ Cape Wind Farm Project Approved

Posted by: TheLCster

After Years Of Legal Battles, America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Is A Go

AP~The Obama administration has approved what would be the nation’s first offshore wind farm, off Cape Cod, inching the U.S. closer to harvesting an untapped domestic energy source – the steady breezes blowing along its vast coasts.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced his decision Wednesday in Boston, clearing the way for a 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind was in its ninth year of federal review, and Salazar stepped in early this year to bring what he called much-needed resolution to the bitterly contested proposal.

We are beginning a new direction in our nation’s energy future,” Salazar said.

Cape Wind says it can generate power by 2012 and aims to eventually supply three-quarters of the power on Cape Cod, which has about 225,000 residents. Cape Wind officials say it will provide green jobs and a reliable domestic energy source, while offshore wind advocates are hoping it can jump-start the U.S. industry.

America’s onshore wind industry is the world’s largest, but higher upfront costs, tougher technological challenges and environmental concerns have held back the development of offshore wind farms.

Denmark installed the world’s first offshore wind turbine 20 years ago. China has built its first commercial wind farm off Shanghai and plans several other projects.

The U.S. Department of Energy envisions offshore wind farms accounting for 4 percent of the country’s electric generating capacity by 2030.

The Cape Wind Fact Sheet, Project Site Map and the Secretary’s Response to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation are available here or here. More information on the project can be found here.

Seven Must-Know Facts About the Cape Wind Project

  • Cape Wind will be the country’s first offshore wind farm. The US Department Of Energy predicts that offshore wind farms alone will handle 4% of the country’s electricity generating capacity by 2030.
  • The project will be ready to generate power in 2012, and Cape Wind plans on supplying 75% of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island’s power combined with the clean energy technology. At peak capacity, the project has the capability to meet 4% of the entire New England region’s power needs.
  • When announcing the approval of the offshore wind farm, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said, “With this decision we are beginning a new direction in our Nation’s energy future, ushering in America’s first offshore wind energy facility and opening a new chapter in the history of this region.”
  • The 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound will be no closer than 5 miles to land, and 14 miles away at its furthest. On a clear day, the turbines would only be a half-inch tall on the horizon when viewed from the nearest point of land. The number of turbines have been reduced from an original proposal of 170 to 130 to address concerns about harming views.
  • Cape Wind will create 600 – 1,000 construction jobs and 50 permanent wind power jobs.
  • The United Kingdom and Denmark are the leaders in offshore wind power, though many countries, like Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, and China, have invested in the renewable energy source as well. In 2007, Denmark (who built the first offshore wind farm decades ago) generated 19.7% of their electricity production from their combined wind power farms. That same year, 1.5% of electricity in the UK was generated by wind.
  • The green light for Cape Wind gives a lot of hope to the many other offshore wind farms being proposed in places like Texas, Delaware, and New Jersey. The Department Of The Interior writes, “the project would […..] be one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in the nation, cutting carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year.”

President Obama Visits Wind Turbine Blade Plant in Iowa

The President visits a Siemens wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison, IA on his White House to Main Street tour and speaks about how his Administrations investments in clean energy are creating jobs and new industries.

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Filed under Alternative Energy, Barack Obama, Change, Environment, Green, Green Energy, Green Jobs, Pres. Barack Obama, Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar (Sec of Interior), Uncategorized, Wind Turbine

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits A San Diego Community Farm

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama holds a piece of chard given to her by Khadiga Musame, a refugee from Somalia, during her visit to the New Roots Community Farm in San Diego, California April 15, 2010. (Photo credit REUTERS/Mike Blake)

AP~Returning from Mexico, Michelle Obama made a brief stop Thursday across the border in San Diego to visit a community garden farmed by international refugees that she called a model for building healthy communities across the nation and around the world.

Obama toured the New Roots Community Farm to promote her campaign against childhood obesity and kick off a $1 billion project by The California Endowment to fund healthy living initiatives in 14 communities across the state, including the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, where the community farm is located.

Obama’s visit follows a week of travel that included a tour of earthquake-ravaged Haiti and a stop in Mexico to launch an agenda about inspiring young people around the world to become involved in their societies.

Some 80 farmers from around the globe work at the 2.3-acre farm, which started in June 2009 on city land in the middle of City Heights. Many grow vegetables like kale and sweet potatoes that they grew back in the native countries they left because of civil wars and other violence.

“It’s a model for the nation, for the world,” Obama said after touring the 89 plots, where she hugged the farmers and listened to their stories.

The garden provides fresh food to the refugees and their families. Some of the fruits and vegetables grown there also are sold at a farmers’ market and to local restaurants, giving the refugees some income. About 90 percent of the farmers have been unable to find a job because they do not have the skills or do not speak the language.

Millions of children in the United States live in what Obama called “food deserts,” places where there is no easy access to grocery stores or farmers’ markets.

She said the project with The California Endowment aims to turn “good ideas into something bigger.”

Tsitsi Mutseta, who moved to San Diego from Zimbabwe eight years ago, said the garden helped ease her mind as she adjusted to her new life in the United States, far from her family.

Mutseta is fighting cancer and said she told Obama the garden has given her a reason to live.

“I told her I come to the garden to relieve my pain. I get food from the garden that is organic and it connects me with my family because I grew up on a small farm in Zimbabwe,” said Mutseta, a tall woman who hugged Obama and gave her leaves from her kale crop. “She said she would pray for me and she loved what I did in the garden.”

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Filed under Childhood Obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama, Mexico, Video/YouTube

First Lady Michelle Obama and First Daughters Kick Off Christmas at White House

Posted by Audiegrl

Receives 18½-foot Douglas fir tree from West Virginia


First lady Michelle Obama, with her daughters Sasha and Malia, as they stand with the White House Christmas tree as it is delivered to the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009.

First lady Michelle Obama, with her daughters Sasha and Malia, as they stand with the White House Christmas tree as it is delivered to the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009.

AP/—The White House is open for Christmas.

A day after celebrating Thanksgiving, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha received the official White House Christmas tree: an 18½-foot Douglas fir delivered from a farm in Shepherdstown, W.Va., by traditional horse-drawn carriage.

Growers Eric and Gloria Sundback officially presented the tree to the Obamas on Friday.

It’s the fourth time one of their trees has become the official White House tree.

Malia, Michelle, and Sasha Obama welcome Mark Steelhammer, left, and Eric and Gloria Sundback to the White House.

Malia, Michelle, and Sasha Obama welcome Mark Steelhammer, left, and Eric and Gloria Sundback to the White House.

It’s big enough for Sasha to climb in, I think,” Sundback joked after the Obamas walked from the North Portico of the White House to the driveway where the tree was tied up and lying in the carriage, pulled up the driveway from Pennsylvania Avenue by a pair of Belgian draft horses with red Christmas bows tied to their tails. A sign affixed to the side of the carriage said “White House Christmas Tree 2009.

We’re excited,” Mrs. Obama told the Sundbacks.

Asked by reporters whether the tree was the biggest she ever had, the first lady said: “Yeah, I think this wins.”

The 12-foot-wide tree is destined for the oval-shaped Blue Room on the State Floor of the White House, where scores of volunteers will decorate it. The tree is the star attraction of Christmas at the White House, and will be oohed and aahed over by the thousands of people who will stream through in December for holiday parties and public tours of the executive mansion.

The tree, which the Sundbacks planted in 1996, was hand-picked on Oct. 20 on a visit to the Sundback’s farm by retired Rear Adm. Stephen Rochon, the White House chief usher, and Dale Haney, superintendent of the White House grounds.

It was cut down on Wednesday. Besides the official tree, more than a dozen smaller trees from the Sundback farm will decorate other rooms in the White House, including the Oval Office.

The Sundbacks, both in their 80s, earned the honor by winning the National Christmas Tree Association’s national contest this year for the fourth time. A tree from the winner’s farm is then chosen as the official White House tree, an annual tradition that dates to 1966.

Their trees were displayed twice when Ronald Reagan held office and once under Jimmy Carter.

The Sundbacks have grown Christmas trees since 1956 and were thrilled by the opportunity to meet their fourth first lady.

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Video Replay Pending: The First Lady Previews the Holidays at the White House

December 02, 2009 12:00 PM EST

The First Lady Receives the White House Christmas Tree

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Filed under Barack Obama, Change, Children, Christmas, Christmas at the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama, History, Holidays, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, United States, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, West Virginia

H1N1 Found in First US Commercial Swine Herd

Keep Your Eye on Factory Farms, China, and the Birds

pigs SWINEFLU Huffington Post/David Kirby—On Monday, the USDA reported that pigs in a commercial swine herd at an Indiana factory farm had tested positive for novel H1N1 influenza virus. It was the first time that pigs raised for meat in the US had been found with signs of the bug. Last month, show pigs at the Minnesota State Fair also tested positive for H1N1.

This time, 3,000 “finishing hogs” being fattened for slaughter were suspected of contracting the disease. “Information points to a recent exposure of the pigs with facility caretakers who were exhibiting influenza-like symptoms,” said the website PigProgress.net. “Recovered healthy pigs are being sent to slaughter through normal marketing channels and State public health officials have been notified of the situation.”

Agriculture and health officials have adopted a low-key posture toward the outbreak, noting that herd surveillance is working, and that the pigs in question cleared the virus and recovered on their own. They insisted there was no threat to public health.

The USDA has long pointed out that H1N1 cannot be transmitted by eating or handling pork products, and that US pork is completely safe. And though it would appear that people can infect pigs with H1N1, it is not clear whether live pigs can infect people. For now, officials are far more worried about the former than the latter.

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