This legislative session has kept the Iowa Environmental Council busy, in part because of a bill that would protect gas company profits at the expense of Iowa customers. House File 555 and its companion, Senate File 455, would hurt Iowans by stopping cities and counties from protecting their local residents from dangerous gas infrastructure, high energy bills, and polluting fossil fuels.Continue Reading...
Reading incessant news about climate-related disasters across the country and here in Iowa has made me wonder if we are just going to sit idly and hope the world miraculously recovers while we maintain our current ways. Or if we are going to accept the science and quickly act to prevent prolonged power outages or severe crop damages the next time a storm or drought hits us. Despite the many challenges 2020 has thrown upon us, I am hopeful it will be the latter.
This is where the 100% DSM movement comes into play.
Michael Schmidt, staff attorney for the Iowa Environmental Council, explains the significance of Alliant Energy’s decision to retire the Lansing Generating Station in Allamakee County. -promoted by Laura Belin
Last week, Alliant Energy announced the retirement of its coal-fired Lansing Generating Station in 2022 and conversion of the coal-fired Burlington Generating Station to natural gas in 2021. Alliant will also add 400 megawatts of solar by 2023 and up to 100 megawatts of distributed generation (smaller-scale solar and batteries) by 2026. These actions are a glimpse into the future of clean energy in the state – but we have a long way to go.
I was born and raised in Iowa, but hailing from the far northeast corner meant more visits to Minnesota lakes or Lake Michigan than central Iowa. That’s likely more due to family in those regions, but when I settled my family in Des Moines two years ago to work at Iowa Environmental Council, many of the recreational opportunities here were new to me. That includes Clear Lake.
UPDATE: The Iowa House approved an amended version of Senate File 548 on a mostly party-line 52 to 44 vote. The Senate approved the bill by 33 votes to 17. Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill on May 9.
Iowans are dealing with the aftermath of receding flood waters this week. Heart-wrenching stories have emerged about returning to decimated homes, topsoil-choked streams headed for the Gulf of Mexico, and the sad task of removing lifeless bodies of young calves who couldn’t withstand the deluge.
Commentators and elected officials are missing the point – or at least failing to bring proper attention to – the obvious and science-based solution to not only water quantity but water quality crises facing our state. We must adopt policy and pass laws that slow down the water running off of our farm fields. That task starts with the federal Farm Bill but ends here at home with efforts to replace Iowa’s lax environmental rules with meaningful protections for land and water.Continue Reading...
Angelisa Belden is communications and development director for the Iowa Environmental Council. -promoted by Laura Belin
Iowans were up in arms this week in reaction to two bad bills aimed at restricting acquisition or expansion of public lands. House File 542, introduced by Republican State Representative David Seick, and Senate Study Bill 1221, introduced by GOP State Senator Ken Rozenboom, would severely limit the ability for state agencies, cities and counties, and private citizens to acquire or donate land for public projects.
In a state with just 2 percent of land in public holding, these bills were a drastic overreach to answer a problem that doesn’t exist.