Weekend Roundup: City Makes You Nuts
• The Interior Department is questioning a coal swap between Montana’s Northern Cheyenne tribe and Houston-based Great Northern Properties.
Great Northern would get twice as much coal in the swap as it would give the tribe, although not all that coal is mineable.
• DTN’s Urban Lehner gives a good rundown on the farm bill. Lehner notes that the House has already cut the nutrition and conservation parts of the farm program — but have left the agricultural subsidy section be.
If the Senate meets the House even halfway in cutting conservation, nutrition, research and rural development, those cuts could affect the “baseline” for the 2012 farm bill, making it that much more difficult for Congress to find funds for them in the future. Then, too, most of the good men and women on the Congressional ag committees represent farm districts. It won’t be in their re-election interests to take money from farm programs in favor of, say, food aid.
Advocates of the other two legs of the stool know all this. Their always shaky alliances with farm interests will be even shakier next year. If the coalition doesn’t hold, if it’s every interest for itself on the House and Senate floors, farm interests will suffer.
• A University of Kentucky program is trying to reduce cervical cancer deaths in Appalachia by working through local churches. The Faith Moves Mountains project calls it “faith based” interventions.
• As of Friday morning, Minot, North Dakota, was learning that a bad flood was getting a heck of a lot worse.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had expected 9,700 cubic feet per second to course through Minot, reaching a crest of 1,555.1 feet above sea level.
Now the Corps is saying there will be 29,000 cfs flowing through Minot by Saturday and the crest will be nine feet higher than predicted.