This Week On The Fallon Forum: Gas Tax, Pipelines, Online Gambling, Billboards

fallon forumDear Friends,

One week from today, I set-out on a 400-mile walk along the proposed path of the Bakken Oil Pipeline – perhaps walking across fields and streams, but more often traversing road and bridges.

Speaking of which . . . “Money to repair road and bridges.” That’s the mantra proponents of increasing the gas tax – and their compliant lackeys in the media – repeat ad nauseum. It’s a sound bite that, no doubt, tests well with focus groups. Sure, who doesn’t want pot holes filled? Sure, who doesn’t want bridges that won’t collapse?

But come on. A lot of this money will be spent widening existing highways and building new ones. The road lobby is the most powerful political force in the state. Given all the jobs associated with the industry and the huge amount of money contributed to political campaigns, the road lobby usually gets what it wants.

But what’s really in the best interest of Iowa, both now and in the future? Yes, of course we need enough money to “repair roads and bridges.” But as the imperative to reduce fossil fuel consumption becomes more urgent, we’ll need to move away from the present monolithic transportation infrastructure to one offering greater diversity and a smaller environmental footprint.

We’ll talk about this on today’s Fallon Forum. Also, Dave Simon with Animal Protection and Rescue League discusses the controversial “Go Vegan” billboards.

We talk with Peter Thorne about the public health impacts of climate change. Peter heads the Department of Occupational & Environmental Health at UI’s Environmental Health Sciences Research Center.

Also, sports betting legal in Iowa? Online gambling legal in Iowa? There’s a bill in the Iowa Legislature to open the door to both. Rep. Dan Kelley talks with us and explains why he wants to stop the “fantasy sports” bill.

Tune-in Monday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST on KDLF 1260 AM or online. Join the conversation by calling (515) 528-8122. You also can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Thanks!

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