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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Resolved: Iowa communities want piece of clean energy future

This commentary by Andy Johnson and Jim Martin-Schramm first appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on October 13. -promoted by Laura Belin

At last count, a precedent-setting 61 city councils and county boards of supervisors in Iowa have passed resolutions asking the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to deny most or all of Alliant Energy’s proposed increase to base electric and gas rates.

IUB dockets aren’t generally on local government agendas, so what’s happening across eastern and northern Iowa?

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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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New GOP bill would slash energy programs for low-income Iowans

UPDATE: This bill did not advance, but Republicans put comparable language into the “standings” budget bill, Senate File 638 (see Division IX on pages 16 and 17). Governor Kim Reynolds can and should item veto this section.

Energy-efficiency programs that benefit low-income Iowans would be cut under a bill Republicans advanced today from an Iowa Senate subcommittee.

Senate Study Bill 1256 would compound the harm done by Senate File 2311, which Republicans enacted in 2018 over objections from many stakeholders. Whereas last year’s bill reduced utility companies’ required spending on energy efficiency programs with a 25-year track record, the new bill would limit allowable spending on such programs.

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