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Environmental Law & Policy Center Hosting a "Copenhagen Closing Party"

The Iowa Global Warming Campaign’s Copenhagen Closing Party 

When:  4pm to 6pm, Friday December 18th 

Where: Office of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, 505 5th Avenue, Suite 333, Des Moines 

Who: The Iowa Global Warming Campaign, and dozens of area residents interested in climate change and clean energy. 

(Des Moines) – World leaders have been meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark to negotiate an international treaty to fight climate change. The Environmental Law & Policy Center’s Iowa Global Warming Campaign will be hosting a “Copenhagen Closing Party” this Friday. This is a good opportunity for a local story about the President and other leaders’ attendance at the Copenhagen summit. 

We will watch President Obama and other world leaders as they address the world about the importance of an international accord to reduce greenhouse gases. Des Moines area residents will also be writing Christmas cards to Senator Grassley asking for his support of a Renewable Electricity Standard to increase clean energy production and jobs. 

“What’s been happening half a world away in Copenhagen has an effect on our actions to fight climate change and power our economy right here in Iowa” said Andrew Snow, Director of the Iowa Global Warming Campaign.

Food and Drinks will be on hand, come out and help us enjoy the last day of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

More information please contact Christian at 515-244-3113 or

Tom Latham is trying to take $3 billion from passenger rail and use it for more highways

(Thanks for the action alert. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Today the House of Representatives will be voting on the FY10
Transportation Housing and Urban Development appropriations
bill. There is currently $4 billion dollars for intercity
passenger rail in this bill – these are funds that could be used
to restore Chicago-Dubuque and Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City-Des
Moines passenger rail!

However, Representative Tom Latham has introduced an amendment
that would eliminate $3 billion from the Capital Assistance for
High Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service

Latham may be following pressure from those who feel that
passenger rail won't benefit them. Remind him that once
passenger rail is established east and west, a north-south route
will be possible between Des Moines and Minneapolis, right
through his district. That will bring tourism dollars to Clear
Lake, economic growth to Mason City, which has lost
manufacturing jobs in the past five years, and better
opportunities for north Iowans to travel easily to Minneapolis
and Des Moines.

Federal support for intercity passenger rail is essential to
restoring rail service to Iowa. Thousands of Iowans support the
expansion of Midwest rail service. Rep. Latham's amendment could
delay our progress on these important projects. That is why Rep.
Latham needs to hear from you right now!

This is urgent – please call Congressman Latham's DC office at
202-225-5476 and ask him to support Iowa passenger rail by
withdrawing his amendment to the FY10 Transportation
appropriations bill. Afterwards, please send an email to the
Congressman to tell him that connecting Iowa to the Midwest rail
network is important for our state and to you personally, and
ask him to support fully funding rail service in the future!


Help support "ACES" legislation. Action Alert

Right now, Congress is debating the details of comprehensive energy and climate legislation. The proposals being discussed would create standards for increased renewable energy and efficiency and put a 'cap' on greenhouse gas emissions. With this legislation heading towards a full vote in the House of Representatives, we have reached a key point in the debate – right now, Congress needs to hear your voice in support of a strong climate and energy bill. Please, take a moment to send a message to your Representative and help us pass this crucial legislation.

With your help we can move away from the disastrous environmental policy of the past 8 years and move towards combating climate change. While creating jobs of the 21st century and developing cleaner technologies that are and will continue to power our country.

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Culver holding rail event in DSM on Saturday

This should be a good event and a great way to show support for passenger rail service across Iowa. From the Gov's office:

DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver will mark National Train Day this Saturday by bringing the Governor’s Train Day Special from Valley Junction in West Des Moines into downtown Des Moines, where he will hold a public event with local leaders and transportation officials promoting the benefits of passenger rail to the state, and read a proclamation declaring National Train Day in Iowa.
“Restoring passenger rail service to some of Iowa’s largest cities has been one of my key priorities as governor,” said Governor Culver.  “I look forward to leading this special train into Des Moines on Saturday, and highlighting the economic benefits of passenger rail to our state.  I invite Iowans to come to downtown Des Moines Saturday and celebrate National Train Day in Iowa.”
National Train Day is designed to highlight the need for expanded passenger rail service across the country.  Iowa currently is served by two passenger trains – the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief – both of which serve southern Iowa.  Efforts have been taken in recent years to bring passenger rail service back to other portions of the state, with current proposals to bring service to Dubuque, the Quad Cities and Iowa City and longer term plans to bring service to other communities such as Des Moines and West Des Moines.
To help spur efforts, Governor Culver’s signature legislative accomplishment – the I-JOBS Initiative — includes $10 million for multi-modal transportation projects in Iowa, including $3 million for expanded passenger rail service in the state.  In addition, the Iowa Department of Transportation will be competing for federal passenger rail funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  All of these steps position Iowa to work with Illinois and Amtrak to bring new passenger rail lines to the state that connect more Iowa communities with Chicago.
The Governor’s Train Day Special is being provided thanks to the generous efforts of the Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd., and logistical support has been provided by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.  The Governor’s event will coincide with the Downtown Farmers Market, a popular summer event that features locally made goods and products.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
WHAT:               Governor Culver will celebrate National Train Day by leading the Governor’s Train Day Special for a special ceremony in Downtown Des Moines
WHERE:             Outside Des Moines Historic Depot
                           4th Street South of Court Avenue
                           Des Moines, IA
WHEN:                10:00am

24 hours of Passenger Rail

The last 24 hours have been quite exciting here at the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC). Not very long ago in the state of Illinois ELPC was able to successfully lobby, advocate, and coalition build along the need for the state to increase it’s funding for Passenger Rail. then-State Senator Obama would meet on occassion with our executive board to talk about how the Illinois Legislature could help in efforts to combat climate change and expand mass-transit. Sot it was to no suprise to anyone in our office when President Obama said:

“We need to connect Des Moines to Chicago with high-speed rail all across the Midwest.”

It was then that we received an interview request from KCCI to get our thoughts on President Obama’s blurb on Passenger rail in Iowa.

Andrew Snow one of our Policy Advocates at ELPC and Campaign Director for the Iowa Global Warming Campaign, interviewed by Katie Piper on the the Rail matter. The story ran as the top story on Wednesday 10pm broadcast.…

This morning the Des Moines Register had a guest columnist from the Greater Des Moines Partnership whom we have been working closely to join us in our vision for Passenger Rail in Iowa. Michael Kulik chair of the “Transit 2030 Task Force” gave his view on the need for High-Speed Passenger Rail service in Iowa. His column can be viewed here:


Then we get word from our dear friends at the Iowa Environmental Council on the dates for the Iowa-DOT public open meetings. As follows is the schedule provided by IEC:…  

Here is the new challenge for everyone. In the past week we have sent over 700 emails to Governor Culver and State legislators about the need to expand and fund Passenger Rail in the state of Iowa. We are now moving to the 2nd phase of our organizing and we want all our Rail supporters to participate in the public meetings. Let the DOT know that their priorities should include funding for Passenger Rail.  If you are planning to attend any of these meetings, want further information on the Passenger Rail initiatives throughout the midwest and here in Iowa feel free to contact our offices.

I can be reached via email at or you can call and ask for Christian at the ELPC offices 515-244-3113

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President Obama in Newton


 Iowa global Warming will be in attendance at President Obama's apperance in newton on Wednesday, April 21. Because this event is closed to the public, we will have video of the event uploaded as soon as we come back from Newton. You can follow our twitter updates at:

The video will be uploaded in both our yoututbe and mogulus webpage at:

 “The Iowa Global Warming Campaign” is the grassroot arm of the “Environmental Law and Policy Center”

Congressman Braley on Obama's Rail Plan

CONTACT: Jeff Giertz/ Nicole Buseman

202.226.4026 / 202.226.0572

Braley Praises President Obama’s Rail Plan

Proposal could have positive impact on eastern Iowa Amtrak plans

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) released the following statement after President Barack Obama and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unveiled their plan for high-speed passenger rail today:

“President Obama’s passenger rail plan is good news for proponents of bringing Amtrak to eastern Iowa.  His plan, combined with the huge passenger rail investment in the Economic Recovery Act and passenger rail investments called for in the President’s budget, will help speed the advance of passenger rail to cities in eastern Iowa and beyond.

“Today, the President stressed a long-term goal of comprehensive high speed rail systems.  In order to reach this goal, the President noted that we must support passenger rail lines that are ‘ready to go’ and will create jobs now.  

“The Chicago to Quad Cities and Chicago to Dubuque lines are shovel-ready rail projects that will create jobs and economic growth immediately. Both projects have my full support and I hope to see ground broken on these two projects as early links in President Obama’s proposed national rail system.”

 # #

Jeff Giertz

Communications Director

Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01)

(202) 226-4026 (direct)

(202) 297-6745 (cell)  

Bring Rail Service to Iowa. An Action Alert.

( - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Bring Rail Service to Iowa

We need your help. Right now, the Iowa Legislature has the opportunity to invest in Passenger Rail service that will connect Iowa cities to Chicago and the Midwest Regional Rail Network. $8 billion in Federal stimulus funds are available for rail projects, and Iowa could benefit tremendously from using these funds to establish rail service.

Passenger rail service is three times more efficient than cars, and six times more efficient than air travel. It’s convenient, affordable and enhances quality of life. And, perhaps even more importantly in tough economic times, it creates tremendous economic development opportunities and thousands of jobs. But unless our legislators and Governor Culver make securing the funding a priority, we may have to continue waiting for service while other states move forward with their own rail projects.

To get passenger rail service moving into Iowa, we need to put forward an initial investment of $3 million in state funds that will allow us to get Federal funding for rail service.

Please, take a moment to let your legislators and Gov. Culver know that you support an investment in passenger rail service for Iowa’s future. And once you’ve sent your message, forward this to every person you know who might want to help. Together, we can make rail service in Iowa a reality!

Take action today it’s easy and only takes a minute or two to get it done!…

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Braley, Hare to Discuss Efforts to Steer Recovery Funds to QC Passenger Rail Project




March 25, 2009

CONTACT: Jeff Giertz, Rep. Braley  202.226.4026

Tim Schlittner, Rep. Hare  202.225.5905

FRIDAY: Braley, Hare to Discuss Efforts to Steer Recovery Funds to QC Passenger Rail Project

Washington, DC – On Friday, Quad Cities Representatives Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) and Phil Hare (D-Illinois) will hold a press conference to discuss their efforts to steer funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the Quad City passenger rail project.  

Braley and Hare will be joined by members of the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition.

WHAT: Press Event on Recovery Act’s Potential Impact on QC Passenger Rail

WHO: Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa)

Rep. Phil Hare (D-Illinois)

Members of Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition

WHEN: FRIDAY, March 27, 2009

10:00 am CDT

WHERE: Centre Station

1200 River Drive

Moline, Illinois


Environmental Law and Policy Center will make video available after the event on the website

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Iowa Residents, Businesses Can Save $690 Million Through Greater Energy Efficiency

(Sounds like a win-win-win-win to me. - promoted by desmoinesdem)


CONTACT:Peter Gray 312-795-3715                                                          

Iowa Contact: Andrew Snow 515-244-3931

March 18, 2009

Study Finds Iowa Residents, Businesses Can Save $690 Million Through Greater Energy Efficiency

Environmental Law and Policy Center Joins Partnership in National Coalition Advocating for Federal Energy Efficiency Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Iowa residents and businesses could save over $690 million on their utility bills if utility companies cut demand for electricity by 15 percent and natural gas by 10 percent by 2020, according to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The new national and state-by-state analysis of energy efficiency benefits was made public as more than 60 business leaders, industry groups and environmental advocates, including The Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) launched the Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America, a coalition calling on Congress to enact a national target for energy efficiency (

“Making homes and businesses more energy-efficient will create jobs, save Iowa residents money on their utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the bottom line for Iowa businesses,” said ELPC Policy Advocate Andrew Snow. “That’s why we’re proud to join business and environmental groups in urging Congress to enact a federal energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) that will help us achieve these crucial goals.”

The ACEEE report found that in addition to generating utility bill savings, passage of a federal EERS could create 1,000 jobs in construction, manufacturing, and other fields in Iowa and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change by 2.9 million metric tons. The measure would also eliminate the need to build more power plants in Iowa and prevent environmental risks associated with traditional power generation.

A national EERS would set a target for gas and electric utilities to meet, but allow states flexibility on how to achieve the targets through rebates and financial incentives for energy efficiency home improvements, use of energy-efficient lighting and appliances, combined heating/cooling systems and other measures.  Nineteen states have established a state EERS.

The Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America supports a national EERS that would require utilities to reduce electricity usage by 15 and natural gas usage by 10 percent by 2020. This proposal for a federal EERS is included in House and Senate versions of the Save American Energy Act (H.R. 889 and S. 548), introduced by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA-7) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), respectively.  

ACEEE’s economic analysis reveals that by 2020, the proposed federal EERS could save American consumers $168.6 billion, create 222,000 jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 262 million metric tons – the equivalent of removing 48 million cars from the road – and eliminate the need to build 390 power plants. Laying the Foundation for Implementing a Federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard is available at


The Environmental Law and Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization.

Campaign for an Energy-Efficient America is a coalition of more than 60 leading businesses, industry groups and environmental organizations advocating for a national energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) to help the nation maximize energy efficiency – the fastest, cheapest, cleanest way to meet our growing energy needs while creating jobs, saving consumers money, boosting American competitiveness and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, visit our Web site at

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Iowa Must Seize Chances to Grow Green Economy

(A timely commentary, since Barack Obama has just named Van Jones (author of The Green Collar Economy) to be a special adviser on green jobs, enterprise and innovation. - promoted by desmoinesdem)


Iowa is well-positioned to be a leader in the rapidly growing green economy. That requires savvy policy and business-development actions to continue seizing strategic opportunities for progress.

 What's at stake: Iowa's competitiveness and the jobs of the future as the global economy transitions to cleaner technologies for global-warming solutions.

Energy, environmental, employment, economic and national-security goals are converging. President Barack Obama and Congress are moving toward realigning our nation to accelerate clean-energy development to create new jobs and achieve significant greenhouse-gas pollution reductions. Clean-energy development is a win-win-win for job creatin, economic growth and better environmental quality. Three major opportunies:

Energy efficiency

Making our homes, businesses and public buildings more energy efficient is a no-brainer. We really can't afford costly energy waste in today's economy, when household budgets and businesses' bottom lines are strained. Retrofitting buildings with more efficient lighting, heating and cooling, windows and other equipment will create new, good-paying electrical, plumbing, carpentry and construction jobs.

Energy efficiency reduces utility bills, thus helping both businesses' bottom lines and household budgets. It plugs the billion-dollar energy drain that is leaking Iowa's money to states that produce natural gas and coal. Energy efficiency is the best, fastest, cleanest and cheapest way to meet power needs and avoid global-warming pollution.

Iowa's energy-efficiency winners include Pella Windows, Musco Lighting, Cenergy, providing energy design and consulting, and skilled union trade workers performing energy-efficiency upgrades in commercial and public buildings. A new farm bill program championed by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin provides grants for energy-efficiency improvements for farms and rural small businesses. The economic-stimulus legislation provides $20 billion more nationally for energy efficiency.

Wind power

Wind is the nation's fastest-growing energy resource. Iowa has nearly 3,000 megawatts installed. Six major manufacturing plants employing more than 1,000 people are operating or planned. Iowa manufacturers specializing in steel fabrication, castings and gears fit well into the wind-industry supply chain.

Huge wind-turbine blades and towers are increasingly being made near the installation sites in the Midwest to ease transportation and logistics. States with supportive policies are gaining business. Iowa is well-positioned to benefit from the national renewable-energy standard being considered by Congress.

New passenger rail

The economic-stimulus legislation includes $9.3 billion for high-speed rail and improved Amtrak service. The Midwest high-speed rail network would connect 11 major cities within a 400-mile radius of Chicago and the mid-sized cities in between.

Gov. Chet Culver and Congressman Leonard Boswell are calling for new Des Moines-Iowa City-Chicago rail service. These new trains can improve transportation mobility, pull together the regional economy, create jobs and help the environment by reducing pollution. The Greater Des Moines Partnership, labor unions and the Environmental Law & Policy Center are working together to get new rail service going.

Solving global-warming problems is our generation's moral, business, policy, political and technological challenge. The global economy is transforming with the rapidly growing trillion-dollar clean-energy technology sector. Lots of jobs and money are at stake. Iowa should seize the strategic opportunities and use its competitive advantages to help lead the growing green economy of the future.

HOWARD A. LEARNER is the executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center

About the Environmental Law and Policy Center and Iowa Global Warming Campaign:
ELPC is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental, legal advocacy and eco-business
innovation organization. We are environmental entrepreneurs who engage in creative business deal
making with diverse interests to put into practice our belief that environmental progress
and economic development can be achieved together.

An Iowa Activist Evening Event

An Iowa Activist Evening:

 February- Leadership for Coal and Climate

A chance for informed and concerned citizens to take concrete action.

This is your Invitation:

An Iowa Activist Evening

Iowa Global Warming Offices

Monday, February 23rd, 2009


505 5th Avenue Suite 333

Des Moines

    Limited Seating

Please RSVP (515) 244-3113

Implemting ICCAC Recommendations

How we can stop the Marshalltown Plant

Send your voice to Washington

Get High Speed Rail Service to Des Moines

Screening of “Fighting Goliath” A short film about the fight for coal in texas. Food and film snacks will be provided.

Sponsors: Sierra Club, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, Iowa Global Warming Campaign, Sierra Student Coalition.


Recovery Act Invests $9.3 Billion to Expand High-Speed Rail

Recovery Act Invests $9.3 Billion to Expand High-Speed Rail

February 13, 2009

Recovery Act Invests $9.3 Billion to Expand High-Speed Rail in America

The final version of the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act now before Congress includes an unprecedented $8 billion investment in high-speed rail. In addition, Amtrak will receive $1.3 billion to
rebuild trains and improve its capacity.

“We commend President Obama and Congress for helping to get America moving again with modern trains,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Investing
in high-speed rail projects will put people to work quickly, create new economic opportunities, increase mobility and reduce traffic congestion and pollution.”

The $8 billion made available through the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be awarded competitively to states to improve passenger rail service, primarily on those corridors where 110 mph
service is proposed. Funds can also be used on conventional rail projects that relieve congestion. The Midwest is very well positioned, with federally designated high-speed rail corridors radiating out in a
hub-and-spoke network from Chicago to St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Madison and the Twin Cities.

“The Environmental Law & Policy Center has long called for the development of a Midwest high-speed rail network. Governors and state Departments of Transportation have embraced high-speed rail as
modern, fast, comfortable and convenient. We have done the homework and prep work. These projects are now ready to build,” said Learner. “We look forward to working with the states to meet Congress’s challenge to rebuild America with cleaner transportation.”

“Congress has moved on the right track toward economic recovery,” said Learner. “Investing in modern, high-speed rail is an important down payment on America’s transportation future.”


NOTE: Due to very high web traffic, the bill itself is difficult to download from Congress’s website. ELPC has made the documents available on its website at:

The Environmental Law and Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization.

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