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King tours solar array at New Fashion Pork

Fourth Iowa Congressional District high in renewable energy sources

July 22, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor (dswartz@esthervillenews.net) , Estherville News

Fourth District Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) visited New Fashion Pork in Estherville Friday afternoon to view the company's new solar panel array.

According to Jay Moore, New Fashion Pork Director of Environmental Services, the solar array was built last November and cost $435,000.

"It provides about 15 to 20 percent of our energy needs," Moore said. "We're also looking at using solar energy for our hog barns in rural areas."

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"We looked at other operations today and solar is coming in to be a significant part of renewable energy," King said.

When looking at Iowa's Fourth Congressional District, which King represents, the area is an abundant source of renewable energy.

"This congressional district is the No. 1 renewable-energy producing district in all of America," King said. "When you add up all the energy produced from ethanol, biodiesel, wind and solar, we are No. 1. There's no reason not to put some distance between ourselves and No. 2."

Congressman King also commented on recent trade concerns with China.

When President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, China responded with tariffs on two commodities important to Northwest Iowa-pork and soybeans.

King said the president needs some latitude on his dealings with China.

"One thing we don't want to do is undercut the president's position," King said. "He needs some latitude to continue to negotiate. He started with a strategy and from what I understand is they anticipated five different that the Chinese might retaliate. And the most likely one was soybeans and pork and that's what they did. That hit the Fourth District harder than any other district because we're No. 1 in both. White House has asked that we not do the Chinese work for them. In other words, don't tear the President down and weaken his hand. Let him play out his hand and we're more likely to get to a favorable solution."

King said he was asked months what can be done to hold agriculture harmless.

"It's not something we can calculate, not knowing what we were walking into. We're going to have to get in it a ways and see how that is," the congressman said.

To King that means the White House and Trump don't want to lose the support of from the farming community.

"We've lost a lot of ground to the Chinese. Our trade deficit is huge with them and even greater, by some calculations, is Chinese theft of intellectual property. They've made a state-run system out of stealing our intellectual property.

King said the lowest number he's found on that issue is $250 billion with the highest number around $600 billion.

"That is a bunch bigger piece of negotiations with China. My sense is this if we can resolve the theft of intellectual property, then we can expect to see a conclusion of the trade negotiations more quickly.

"I think Labor Day is a good time to suggest that 'let's get this resolve by Labor Day' so no one's out there harvesting $7 soybeans."

 
 
 

 

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