The Democrats on the Iowa Utilities Board let us down

May 05, 2008

Coal is NOT our only option

Let’s retire the old, coal industry argument that because “the wind isn’t always blowing and the sun isn’t always shining,” that coal is our only option. Iowa gets over 80 percent of its electric generation from coal, leaving a large opportunity for investment in renewables (which also creates jobs), unless we continue to invest in dirty coal.  No power plant is 100 percent reliable–whether wind or conventional electric facility, backup is provided by the entire interconnected utility system. In Denmark, Northern Germany and parts of Spain, wind supplies 20 to 40 percent of electric loads without sacrificing reliability. When wind is added to a utility system, no new backup is required to maintain system reliability.  

Iowa House and Senate approve sustainable funding amendment

Feb 19, 2009

Natural Resources Trust Fund

ragbrai08 your 3 points are correct. Let me point out that even if the legislature shifted all current funding to “put the entire load on the NRTF,” we would still have over three times the funding Iowa currently allocates for protection of our natural resources.  But also know that legislation will be introduced at some point, which outlines exactly how the trust fund monies should be spent.  In this bill or another bill, protective language regarding the current funding sources can be included.  Also, two legislators spoke up during the debate of this bill to note that their intentions are that the NRTF will be funds over and above current funding and they, too, are concerned that current funding be protected.

The Marshalltown coal plant is dead

Mar 05, 2009

Alliant decision good for air and jobs

Good paying jobs exist for clean, renewable energy production as well. And, despite what the Alliant press release might say, many hard working adults in the Marshalltown area did NOT want this plant, due to the health issues. Paying for treatment of heart disease, asthma and diabetes cuts into ones paycheck, too.

More grim economic news

Mar 23, 2009

Careful about tax cuts

One proposed tax cut before the Iowa Legislature, which just emerged last week, is in HSB 273 and could mean more land taken out of conservation.  HSB proposes to eliminate the Forest Reserve Program by 1/10/10 — no longer provide a tax exemption for folks keeping their land in forest preserve in Iowa.  Interestingly, in the same Iowa code as the Forest Reserve Program is the same tax break for apple orchards (fruit tree reservations).  HSB 273 does not propose to eliminate that tax break–even though it’s on land that provides an income!  

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