# Iowa Utilities Board



A science-based case against carbon dioxide pipelines across Iowa

Seventeen academics, farmland owners, and environmental advocates have urged the Iowa Utilities Board to reject permit applications for a carbon dioxide pipeline that would run across Iowa. A July 29 letter to the board laid out four science-based objections to the projects proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 Ventures, and Archer Daniels Midland partnered with Wolf Carbon Solutions.

Matt Liebman, Iowa State University professor emeritus of agronomy, took the lead in writing the document. Citing “relevant scientific and engineering studies,” the letter explained how the pipelines would damage soil and crop yields without significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Allowing the use of eminent domain for this project would be “a betrayal of public trust and a corruption of the ideal of private sacrifice for public good,” the letter argued.

Those who wrote to the Iowa Utilities Board include six retired professors from Iowa colleges or universities and several Iowans with professional conservation experience at the federal or county level. I also signed, having been an environmental advocate for the past 20 years. I did not draft the letter or make editorial changes to it.

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Bruce Rastetter seeks to parlay campaign cash into carbon pipelines

Emma Schmit is senior Iowa organizer with Food & Water Action.

The Republican Party of Iowa is the party of Bruce Rastetter. For years, he has amassed an enormous fortune at the public’s expense both here and abroad. And for years, he has invested in Iowa GOP candidates, in order to advance his own interests. After Governor Terry Branstad appointed him to the Iowa Board of Regents, he used that position to promote a business venture that could have displaced more than 162,000 refugee farmers in Tanzania, and to lean on a professor who discussed the ethanol industry’s impact on groundwater sources.

Rastetter knows how to call in favors. And he’s not done yet.

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Iowans deserve a plan from MidAmerican to phase out coal

Katie Rock is the campaign representative in Iowa for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, based in Des Moines. You can follow the effort on Twitter at @IABeyondCoal and @KatieRockIA. -promoted by Laura Belin

This year has pushed us all to reconsider what it means to be a safe, resilient and just community in the 21st century. And while many of us anxiously look to the future, we should remember the tremendous opportunity we have to take control of our path today. It is time for our city of Des Moines to accelerate the transition to clean energy by passing a resolution committing to buying 100 percent renewable power by 2030.

MidAmerican continues to own and operate one of the largest coal fleets in the country right here in Iowa, selling coal-generated power for the benefit of their shareholders, while Iowans pay the price of the pollution to our air and water. The company currently owns more generation than it needs to reliably keep the lights on. The time has come for MidAmerican to walk its talk and make a plan to retire its coal fleet, starting with its most uneconomic plants.

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Iowa’s municipal utilities already suspended water shutoffs

Tim Whipple: Thanks to voluntary action by water providers, “Iowa doesn’t need an executive order on water shutoffs.” -promoted by Laura Belin

As the general counsel for the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU), a member organization representing more than 750 utilities serving more than 2 million Iowans, I read with great frustration the claims made by John Aspray in a post on this blog, and I’d like to offer a few comments in response.

Mr. Aspray asserts that “Iowa’s state government has put water on the back burner” and also that “80 percent of Iowa residents could be at risk of losing access to running water in their homes.” Neither assertion is accurate.

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Governor Reynolds is missing in action on water access

John Aspray: Only five Iowa cities have halted water shutoffs during the COVID-19 crisis. The governor has imposed no statewide moratorium. -promoted by Laura Belin

By now it’s clear: access to water, especially for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, is critically important. If you don’t have running water where you live, complete quarantine and adequate hand-washing are impossible.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 doesn’t just require us to act carefully individually, it requires us to act responsibly as a society. We need to make sure everyone has access to water to keep ourselves and our communities safe — it’s a matter of life or death.

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