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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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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