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Drought ignites fight over ethanol mandates
A field of dead corn sits next to the Lincolnland Agri-Energy ethanol plant in Palestine, Illinois.
August 3rd, 2012
12:33 PM ET

Drought ignites fight over ethanol mandates

By Barbara Hall, CNN

(CNN) - A substantial amount of the Corn Belt is in extreme drought. As a result, this year's crop yields are threatened and the price of corn is skyrocketing. This week, more than 150 U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging action to reduce the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to help ease corn supply concerns. The seven-year-old mandate, which was meant to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil, requires refineries to produce about 13 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol this year.

Arkansas Republican Congressman Steve Womack says it makes no sense:

[1:14] " The fact that we are trying to answer what used to be known as an energy crisis by creating a food crisis is just the wrong direction." FULL POST

Crowdfunding could change the face of small business
Adam Solomon, founder of Quixote Computing, relies on "crowdfunding" to help his company.
August 3rd, 2012
12:08 PM ET

Crowdfunding could change the face of small business

By Libby Lewis, CNN

(CNN) – Did you hear about the guy who invented a smart-watch called the Pebble watch? Investors in Silicon Valley snubbed him so he turned to the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, for help.

Get this: he raised $10 million in about a month. The people who chipped in will receive Pebble watches in return. FULL POST

Embed America: Transportation, the invisible pocketbook issue
Durango has approved an ambitious plan that would put a bus stop within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from any point in the city.
August 3rd, 2012
11:56 AM ET

Embed America: Transportation, the invisible pocketbook issue

By John Sepulvado, CNN

Durango, Colorado (CNN) - In the center of this small, Western town, there are bartenders who rock handlebar moustaches and pour sloe gin fizzes. Some waitresses wear feathers in their hair and tight-fitting western dresses while serving clams and steak. There’s an old rail car that rumbles through downtown, with a conductor dressed in a blue and white rail cap.

Much of downtown Durango seems like a Old West re-enactment.

Yet, this scenic town of 16,000 is pursuing one of the most ambitious transportation plans in the country. It includes miles of bike-ways and walking trails, and it aims for a public transit stop within fifteen minutes of any point in town.

[3:51] “We know that not every single initiative in this plan is implementable, particularly in the near-term,” says Durango Mayor Doug Lyon. “We don’t have to do the whole thing to be successful.” FULL POST

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