Jim Nichols: Investing in the Future
Standing around in a wind turbine might not sound like the most exciting way to spend an evening but if
the owner Jim Nichols is there it can be pretty intense.
is not as young as he
used to be and he
has seen a lot of failures in U.S. systems but he
has certainly not lost his
It is refreshing to see such resolve and optimism in the face of potential social, economic and environmental crises.
owns and operates a farm on the Buffalo Ridge in southwestern Minnesota.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Morris he served as Lincoln County commissioner, Minnesota state senator and Minnesota Secretary of Agriculture.
has also taught high school in South Dakota.
For years he
has been a leader in promoting renewable energy, good farming and good sense.
helped to establish renewable energy in Minnesota, working to create legislation and build infrastructure.
thinks wind energy has the potential to create jobs that won't be outsourced, help us transition away from fossil fuels and boost local economies.
does not think that wind energy is the answer to all of the world's energy problems but it can be a major part of the solution.
Lincoln County has already seen the benefits of investing in wind energy.
"Government should take aggressive action and require renewable energy", says Jim
This isn't happening enough.
Tax credits for wind expire every two years.
Oil wells receive around $40 billion in subsidies annually.
"I've been farming all my life and I know when the field is level", he
According to Jim
, "we have the best Congress money can buy.
Congress knows we need wind turbines but then votes against them".
tells of how he
walked legislators to the voting chamber, made sure that no lobbyists could grab them on the way, listened to their assertions that they knew to support wind and when they got in there they voted against wind turbines.
thinks we can do better.
The ideas that Jim
advocates are not impractical.
They are common sense.
We have to be smarter.
Jim Nichols is an educator, an activist and a farmer.
has been working on are getting transmission lines for wind energy, maintaining and increasing renewable energy legislation, giving tours of his
wind turbine and of course, farming.
optimistic about the future and our ability to solve the problems we face.
works to educate, inspire, change policies and help people take action.
Jim loves connecting with people of all backgrounds and political affiliations (he thinks we should all be
message gets across.
Our HECUA class got an ear full during our visit to his
It was time well spent.
encouraged us to act, "You need to fight for this [specifically continuing wind power investment]… it's for your life and that of your children.
Call your senators!
is a great example of the power that there is in being passionate and taking action.