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

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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!


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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

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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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