Iowa Senate district 36 preview: Jeff Edler vs. Dave Degner

Some sobering facts about the bloodbath that was the 2016 election in Iowa:

Donald Trump carried eighteen state Senate districts that had voted for President Barack Obama in 2012.*

Eleven of those eighteen were even-numbered districts, which are on the Iowa ballot in presidential election years.

The four Republicans who already represented Obama/Trump districts all easily won another term in the Iowa Senate.**

But six of the seven Democratic senators up for re-election in Obama/Trump districts lost: Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (Senate district 8), Mary Jo Wilhelm (Senate district 26), Brian Schoenjahn (Senate district 32), Steve Sodders (Senate district 36), Tom Courtney (Senate district 44), and Chris Brase (Senate district 46).

With Republicans now enjoying a 32-18 majority in the upper chamber, Democrats need to win back at least a few Obama/Trump seats next year to have a realistic chance of regaining Iowa Senate control after the next round of redistricting.

Democrats have been actively campaigning in Senate districts 8 and 44 for some time. Now GOP State Senator Jeff Edler has a strong challenger in Senate district 36.

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Iowa's senators must act on climate change

Action alert from Tyler Granger of the National Wildlife Federation. -promoted by Laura Belin

Despite flooding that devastated the state of Iowa this Spring, our junior U.S. Senator Joni Ernst continues to ignore the climate crisis and to support President Donald Trump’s toxic agenda, which is harming Iowa’s health and economy.

At a recent town hall in Denison, Ernst heard from a Manning constituent, Peter Leo, about the need to act on the climate crisis. Instead of finding common ground, Ernst made the concern a laughing matter and suggested that combating climate change would “crater our economy.”

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Some bad laws for Iowa's environment take effect today

Continuing Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of the Iowa legislature’s work during the 2019 session.

Iowa’s environmental community had something to celebrate when state lawmakers adjourned for the year without passing legislation that would crush small-scale solar development. An unusual coalition including solar installers, environmental groups, and livestock farmers helped keep the bill bottled up in the Iowa House despite intense lobbying by MidAmerican Energy and its allies, along with massive spending by undisclosed donors.

Unfortunately, lawmakers approved and Governor Kim Reynolds signed several other measures that will be detrimental for Iowa’s natural resources and take our state’s energy policy in the wrong direction. The new laws take effect today, as the 2020 fiscal year begins.

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Dakota Access announces pipeline expansion

Ed Fallon: We must not let this latest attempt to threaten our water, land, property rights and planet go unchallenged. -promoted by Laura Belin

As predicted, Dakota Access announced on June 12 that it wants to increase the amount of oil flowing through its pipeline across Iowa. The company claims it needs no additional authorization from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to proceed.

Bold Iowa disagrees. Today, we filed the following request with the IUB. We need YOU to take action, too. Here’s our five-step action request, which should take you about half an hour. It’s important, and your voice is needed NOW!

1. Read Dakota Access’s filing.

2. Read Bold Iowa’s response, below.

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Des Moines takes courageous first step to a Climate Action Plan

UPDATE: The council approved the ordinance by 5 votes to 2, with Mayor Frank Cownie, Connie Boesen, Chris Coleman, Bill Gray, and Josh Mandelbaum voting yes. Joe Gatto and Linda Westergaard opposed the ordinance.

Sheila Knoploh-Odole is an attorney and local sustainability consultant who served on the advisory committee for the Des Moines Energy Policy Task Force. -promoted by Laura Belin

With a surprising vote of 7-0, the Des Moines City Council voted on April 22 (Earth Day) to advance a proposed ordinance for energy- and water-use benchmarking in buildings over 25,000 square feet throughout the City. On Monday, June 3, they will take the final vote to make this ordinance city policy.

By measuring the energy and water use of large buildings, Des Moines is poised to address its goal of lowering citywide greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2025. This ordinance won’t cover the entire goal, but will put the city on a path of reducing up to 16 percent overall – IF certain unpopular parts of the ordinance are maintained.

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