http://www.oneiowa.org/ Read & Sign the petition here
Full story and insight into “The Family” at the Iowa Independent:
Republican senator's ties to a powerful Christian group could give him leverage to impact the bill's passage
Des Moines-based One Iowa is conducting a petition drive demanding Grassley denounce the bill and use his influence to stop it. The reason they believe Grassley could have an impact is his association with a group known as “The Family.”
“The Family, a fundamentalist group of powerful politicians in America and abroad has ties to Uganda legislators pushing this horrific affront to human rights,” the group said in a press release. “Our very own Sen. Grassley is a member of this so-called ‘family.’”
IN 2010, LET'S BRING THIS SENATOR HOME FOR GOOD!
Contact: Eric Nost, Environment Iowa | 515-243-5835; cell: 319-621-0075 | firstname.lastname@example.org
New Report: Iowa’s Power Sources Outdated, Under-regulated
Des Moines — Iowa is home to some of the nation's oldest and most polluting coal-fired power plants, according to a new analysis of government data released today by Environment Iowa. Half a year after a proposal for a new coal plant in Marshalltown was canceled and over one year after a similar proposal for Waterloo was denied, a group of environmental groups are calling for tougher regulation on existing power plants. (Report available at http://www.environmentiowa.org)
“Building new coal plants in Marshalltown and Waterloo would have been disastrous. Now we need to make sure that we clean up those plants that we've already built,” said Environment Iowa state associate Eric Nost. “They are outdated and under-regulated. Old coal-fired clunkers ought to have to meet modern emissions standards.”
Nationally, the report shows that America's supply of electricity is dominated by old plants, and that the oldest and dirtiest facilities often go hand-in-hand. Power plants first built three decades ago or more produced 73 percent of the total global warming pollution from power plants in 2007. Older power plants on average emit more carbon dioxide per unit of energy than newer ones.
Though it supplies the majority of Iowa’s electricity, coal is the most polluting of all fuel sources.
The state's largest and most polluting coal plant – the Walter Scott Jr. Energy Center in Council Bluffs – released nearly ten million tons of carbon dioxide into atmosphere in 2007. Parts of the facility date back to 1954.
Coal-fired plants like the Walter Scott Jr. Energy Center currently do not have to meet any carbon dioxide pollution standard, meaning that they can function as an unchecked contributor to global warming. Such plants comprise the nation’s single largest source of global warming pollution.
The growing impacts of global warming will pose serious threats to Iowa, particularly on the agricultural sector as rainfall declines and warmer temperatures evaporate moisture in the soil more quickly, leading to lower yields. To avoid the worst effects of global warming, science shows that the U.S. must cut its global warming pollution by 35 percent by 2020.
“Although numerous studies have shown that Iowa’s important agricultural sector has a great deal to lose if nothing is done to stop climate change, groups opposed to taking steps to curb global warming emissions have used a strategy of focusing on energy cost increases for farmers, businesses, and residential consumers, and emphasizing potential job losses in energy-intensive industries,” said Neila Seaman, director of the Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club. “It is imperative that Iowa’s U.S. Senators use their power to ensure a strong Clean Air Act and pave the way for the regulation of carbon dioxide.”
The Senate is slated to consider legislation in the next few months to establish the first-ever federal limits on global warming pollution and bolster incentives for clean energy sources like wind power.In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule to require coal plants and other large industries to use available technology to cut their global warming pollution when new facilities are constructed or existing facilities are significantly modified.
“We urge Senators Harkin and Grassley to ensure that the Senate passes an energy bill that requires coal plants to meet modern standards for global warming pollution, making room for more clean energy projects, like wind and solar power. We need more jobs building wind farms, installing solar panels and weatherizing homes, not more pollution,” concluded Nost.
Environment Iowa is a citizen-funded advocacy organization working to protect the state's clean air, clean water, and open spaces.
In February 2009, Grassley said he wouldn't vote for the stimulus package unless it contained mortgage relief for struggling homeowners even though he held a fundraiser with mortgage industry brass. He also voted against cramdown months after calling for mortgage relief in Sen. Dick Durbin's amendment that would have allowed single residence homeowners to reshuffle their mortgage if they were falling behind on payments. The law currently allows multiple residence homeowners to do this for their vacation homes and yachts.
Now, Grassley says the deal breaker for him in health reform is the individual mandate. If folks are penalized for not carrying insurance, he won't support health reform. But last summer he supported the individual mandate in at least 2 interviews.
For Immediate Release – September 23, 2009
Contact: Eric Nost, Environment Iowa, Office: 515-243-5835 Cell: 319-621-0075, email@example.com
Record-breaking transit ridership saved Iowans nearly 9,000,000 gallons of gas last year
Des Moines, IA In 2008, people in Iowa saved nearly nine million gallons of gasoline by riding transit in record numbers – the amount consumed by 15,300 cars. In addition to fuel savings, public transportation reduced global warming pollution here by 80,000 tons. Transportation accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation's dependence on oil, and about one-third of our carbon dioxide pollution Environment Iowa outlined in their new report Getting On Track: Record Transit Ridership Increases Energy Independence.
“People are voting with their feet by driving less and taking more public transportation,” said Eric Nost , state associate with the statewide citizen advocacy organization. “Congress should listen to these voters and invest more in public transportation, which will increase our energy independence and reduce global warming pollution,” Nost added.
Micki Sandquist, executive director of the American Lung Association in Iowa noted, “we support public policies that encourage appropriate mass transit and alternative transportation options. Conservation is always the first and most obtainable goal in any effort to reduce petroleum consumption and the air pollution it causes, and using mass transit is an easy and effective way for anyone to reduce their consumption of petroleum fuels.”
Iowans drove less, with 2.07 million fewer miles driven in 2008 than in the year before – an eight percent drop that was the largest percent decrease in the country. People drove less due in part to volatile fuel prices and decreased economic activity, and many of these car trips were replaced by transit. In fact, ridership increased by five percent above 2007 levels.
“But in spite of the huge potential for transit to reduce oil consumption and pollution, the vast majority of transportation funding is spent on roads,” said Nost. “Instead of spending money to build new highways that only increase our dependence on oil, our leaders here in Iowa and in Congress should drive more money to transit and high-speed rail,” Nost argued.
Andrew Snow, campaign director at the Environmental Law and Policy Center, agreed. “This report demonstrates very clearly that demand for better public transit continues to grow very quickly. While our highways and interstate system are congested with traffic, rail and other transit systems will allow Iowans an efficient option to increase mobility and increase productivity for our people and businesses. I have no doubt that the unprecedented demand for travel within and without the state can and should be met with improved rail and multi-modal transportation options for our citizens. Our economy can't continue to compete without better transportation, and Iowans must be connected to the Midwest transportation network.”
In order to maximize the potential of public transportation to save energy and reduce pollution, Environment Iowa is asking local, state, and federal leaders to:
- Issue overarching goals for reducing oil dependence and pollution through transportation, which will guide better policy.
- Increase investment in cleaner public transportation, to include transit, high speed rail, and better walking and biking options.
- Level the playing field in terms of funding and approving transit projects, relative to road projects. Approval of transit and highway investments should be governed by an equivalent set of rules and matching ratios.
- Increase funding for transit maintenance and day-to-day operations, in addition to improving and expanding capacity. Federal, state and local funds should allow for greater flexibility in funding operations – new buses and trains are useless without drivers to drive them and mechanics to maintain them.
In the near term, Environment Iowa is calling on Congress to incorporate the full provisions of CLEAN TEA (the Clean, Low Emissions, Affordable New Transportation Equity Act, S. 575 ), into the climate bill being debated now in the Senate. CLEAN TEA would direct 10 percent of climate bill allowances to clean transportation efforts that will save oil and reduce emissions.
“We hope Senators Grassley and Harkin will support this forward-thinking legislation to lessen dependence on oil and cut pollution,” Nost concluded.
Environment Iowa is a state-based, citizen-funded organization working for clean air, clean water, and open space.
The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization.Continue Reading...
For Immediate Release: September 10, 2009
Contact: Eric Nost, Environment Iowa, 515-243-5835, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Report: Strong Energy Efficiency Policies in Energy/Climate Legislation Would Save Iowa Families $282 per Year, Create 6,200 Jobs
Des Moines, IA – A new national report finds that Iowa households would save an average of $282 per year and 6,200 sustainable jobs would be created in the state over the next ten years if Congress acts now to include strong energy efficiency improvements in energy and climate legislation. The report, entitled Energy Efficiency in the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009: Impacts of Current Provisions and Opportunities to Enhance the Legislation, was released by Environment Iowa and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The efficiency provisions would prevent 5 million metric tons of global warming emissions from being released here in 2020 alone, the equivalent of taking over 900,000 cars off the road for a year. (The report is publicly available at http://www.environmentiowa.org)
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