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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Report finds rural America's climate impact has been overlooked, calls for action

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Thursday, June 6, 2024   

Correction: Maria Doerr is a program officer with Rural Climate Partnership and is the lead author of the report. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated her title and listed her as a co-author of the report. (2:07 p.m. PT, June 10, 2024)


At least 10% of Arizona's population lives in rural areas, and a new report shows a significant portion of the state's greenhouse gas emissions originate there.

A Rural Climate Partnership report found 36% of U.S. emissions are produced in rural America.

Maria Doerr, program officer for the Rural Climate Partnership and lead author of the report, said the emission effects of rural America are disproportionately large for the population they represent. Emissions are created by the goods and services produced in rural places, like electricity, which are then sent to urban and suburban communities.

For rural communities, it means air pollution among other environmental damage. She argued achieving the nation's climate goals will take a sharper focus on rural areas.

"That is why we need rural communities to be the leaders of change for themselves because solutions will not work if they come from out-of-state or from the coastal cities," Doerr contended. "Solutions must be coming from rural communities and when they do, they can both address climate issues and reduce emissions."

Doerr emphasized rural messengers are critical for communicating the potential benefits of clean energy development such as new local jobs as well as opportunities for tax and land lease revenue, which can help farms stay in business. She added while climate action has been moved forward thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, a portion of which have funds stipulated for rural places, the work must continue.

Despite being one of the sunniest states in the nation, Arizona ranks 22nd nationally in the production of renewable energy. An estimated 67% of combustion power plant emissions in Arizona come from rural regions.

Doerr stressed rural communities have not been prioritized in efforts to help them harness the benefits of energy efficiency and electrification.

"I'm hopeful about opportunities to help those rural communities lead for themselves to create changes," Doerr said. "Like bringing in more clean energy projects that create local jobs, that increase grid resiliency and reduce energy costs."

Doerr added rural households spend 25%, or just over $450 more annually on household energy than their nonrural counterparts. Doerr explained it is due in large part to the energy sources used in more remote places.


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