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The British Commission for Rural Communities contends rural families spend up to 20% more for life’s essentials than do their peers living in cities.
The Commission’s study looked at the cost of everything from socks to telephone bills, fuel and transport. In particular, the group found, the cost of fuel for heating the home and transportation drove the cost of rural living above that of urban areas.
• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is ending a three day series on coal mine safety today. This installment finds that the federal mine safety agency is becoming increasingly aggressive in enforcing safety regulations — so tough, in fact, that it is threatening to seize one mine outright and close another.
Day one in the series explores how mining becomes a part of a family’s history. Day two explores the politics of coal, and how environmentalists and coal miners have fallen on two sides of the coal debate.
Congratulations to the Post-Gazette.
• Herman Giles was one of those old-timey rural newsmen. He was born in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and came to own the paper in Bristol.
Giles died November 2 and Barry Sussman, editor of Nieman Watchdog, writes a remembrance.
• The National Chicken Council says the proposed livestock rules from USDA would cost the industry $1 billion over five years.
Since the rules would give growers new rights to seek damages from chicken producers, the Chicken Council said that litigation would be a significant part of these increased costs.
•The U.S. beef cow herd has decreased in 12 of the last 14 years and the beef cow herd is now the smallest its been since 1963.
The total U.S. cattle inventory is now at about 94 million head, the smallest since 1959.
• The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities gave permission for the National Grid to buy up to half of the power generated by the Cape Wind project.
Cape Wind is the controversial wind farm to be built in Nantucket Sound. The purchase agreement was the last hurdle for the project.
Cape Wind was planned for 130 wind turbines, but only half that number may be built because of trouble finding bank financing.