Progressive Caucus passes resolution condemning carbon pipelines

Brian McClain chairs the Iowa Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus.

For decades now, corporate interests have had their way in Iowa and both parties have been complicit. It is time for the Iowa Democratic Party, the Party of the People, to say “enough is enough.” It is time to ask our elected officials, our candidates, our leaders which side they are on. Are they on the side of the oligarchs and corporations that seek to profit off the backs of all Iowans, or are they on the side of the people?

On March 2, 21 members of the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee sided with the oligarchs against seventeen who chose to stand with the people. Using a bad faith procedural tactic, they refused to give a hearing to a resolution that would make clear the party’s opposition to the abuse of eminent domain to install a dangerous pipeline that does little to actually address the climate crisis.

It was argued that it is not the State Central Committee’s place to make such statements, even though recent precedent showed otherwise. 

In response, the Progressive Caucus, a pro-labor, pro-worker, pro-union constituency caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party, took up this resolution and joined with the seventeen representatives who voted “yes.” The Veteran’s Caucus voted to side with the people. The Disability Caucus declared their solidarity with the people of Iowa, as did the Rural Caucus. Rural Republicans, rural Democrats, and Libertarians are reaching out to support this resolution. They are doing so because it is the right thing to do. 

We are calling on the 21 members of the State Central Committee who voted “no” to stand with the people of Iowa. We are calling on Iowa Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls and House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst to openly condemn this pipeline and work with the Republicans in their chambers who favor protecting landowners from corporations seeking to abuse eminent domain. We are calling on all candidates to side with the people of Iowa.

This pipeline will destroy rural Iowa communities. It will harm population growth, property values, and farmers. The environmental impact of a leak or explosion would be catastrophic. Coupled with the incorrectly named “school choice” efforts, it will lead to even more school consolidations, and that means even fewer young families moving to these towns. 

Do the right thing. Stand with us. Stand with the people of Iowa. Oppose this pipeline and start working towards sustainable, safe, and truly tangible, green solutions to the climate crisis. Not just ones that balance out a spreadsheet in order to perpetuate the existence of a dying industry that pollutes our water and air as well as further exacerbates the climate crisis. And the lives of all rural Iowans are far more important than the few extra bucks that go into the pocket of the donor class. 

Brian McLain (he/him)
Chair, Progressive Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party
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Brian McClain

  • Thank you Progressives

    Your declaration of opposition to this pipeline and pipelines like it is absolutely appreciated here in rural NW Iowa. Thank you also to the Veterans, Disability, and Rural caucuses of the Iowa Dem Party for coming together in solidarity against this issue that affects ALL of us. I hope the party apparatus finds it’s backbone before the upcoming midterms!

    Signed, a grateful rural progressive in Sioux County

  • Subsidies of all kinds must go

    I have fought the onslaught of industrial wind in Iowa since 2013. I learned much about the power structure of Iowa. Industrial wind, industrial solar, the RFS, CRP and carbon capture pipelines all exist because of subsidies. The very wealthy then “invest” in these projects. Their investments are safe because their return comes from the government, our government that does not make money or have its own money.

    Again and again it is just “follow the money”. Sorry, but the Democrats approved the government spending because the free market will not support these things. The Republicans went along with it because they love a place for them and their friends at the public trough.

    Subsidies will eventually kill our economy completely as the richer get richer and the poorer get poorer. It is the way it has always gone. Our government is too big and has way too much power. Throw in the corporations that will follow the money and you have one hell of a mess.

  • It is a real challenge...

    …to figure out ways to reduce climate change that don’t end up indirectly rewarding polluters for polluting. It is especially difficult when the pollution comes from industrial agriculture, which is so powerful that actual regulation is mostly politically impossible.

    Biden isn’t getting everything right, but he is trying. And some climate-change-addressing subsidies are justified and needed.