Dark money lobbying Iowa legislature on solar bill

A new dark money group is threatening clean energy progress in Iowa. Mark Langgin digs into the social media advertising campaign that emerged a few days ago. -promoted by Laura Belin

Looks like the utilities and electric cooperatives are up to no good. A new “dark money” organization just launched ads on Facebook.

The “REAL” Coalition began advertising on Facebook on March 1, arguing for legislation that would undermine net metering. The REAL Coalition is doing this under the guise of promoting renewable and clean energy.

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Iowa Consumers Forced to Make Risky Investment in Nuclear

( - promoted by desmoinesdem)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 9, 2010                                          
Contact: Eric Nost, Environment Iowa
515-243-5835 | enost@environmentiowa.org

The Iowa Senate voted 37-13 Tuesday afternoon to allow Mid-American Energy to investigate the feasibility of building new nuclear reactors in the state. The utility wants to hike its rates – for the first time in over a decade – by $15 million in order to pay for the study.

Environment Iowa state associate Eric Nost issued a statement in response, “Nuclear power is a not a proven solution to our environmental and economic crises. We call on leaders at all levels of government to invest in what we know works – clean, homegrown energy.

“Energy efficiency and wind and solar energy can create jobs when we need them – now.”

At the federal level, Congress and the President are debating similar proposals from utilities that would dole out massive federal loan guarantees for the construction of new reactors. President Obama recently announced the first of the loans would go to two new plants in Georgia.

The Congressional Budget Office expects half of all loans made to nuclear reactors will default.

Iowans will not only be paying more on utility bills, but their federal tax forms, too, if the nuclear industry is successful in getting these kinds of bailouts,” Nost said.

Environment Iowa released a report, Generating Failure, in December that analyzed
the role, under a best-case scenario, that nuclear power could play in reducing emissions. Key findings of the report include:

  • To avoid the most catastrophic impacts of global warming, the U.S. needs to cut power plant emissions roughly in half over the next 10 years.
  • Nuclear power is too slow to contribute to this effort. No new reactors are now under construction and building a single reactor could take 10 years or longer, while costing billions of dollars.
  • Even if the nuclear industry somehow managed to build 100 new nuclear reactors by 2030, nuclear power could reduce total U.S. emissions over the next 20 years by only 12 percent.

In contrast to building new nuclear plants, efficiency and renewable energy can immediately and significantly reduce electricity consumption and carbon emissions. The report found that:

  • Efficiency programs are already cutting electricity consumption by 1-2 percent annually in leading states, and the wind industry is already building the equivalent of three nuclear reactors per year in wind farms, many of which are in Iowa.
  • Building 100 new reactors would require an up-front investment on the order of $600 billion dollars – money which could cut at least twice as much carbon pollution by 2030 if invested in clean energy. Taking into account the ongoing costs of running the nuclear plants, clean energy could deliver 5 times more pollution-cutting progress per dollar.
  • Nuclear power is not necessary to provide carbon-free electricity for the long haul. The need for base-load power is exaggerated and small-scale, local energy solutions can actually enhance the reliability of the electric grid

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Environment Iowa is a state-based, citizen-funded advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and open spaces.

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Vote No on Nuclear Study Bill

Over the past few months we've asked for your help in achieving federal energy reform. Thank you so much! Unfortunately, powerful interests continue to block any progress in Congress. So, we need to shape our energy future right here in Iowa right now.

The Iowa Senate is considering SF 2314/HF 2399, legislation that would require MidAmerican Energy to conduct a feasibility study on nuclear power using ratepayer money. Though it also provides incentives for utilities to switch existing coal-fired power plants to other fuel sources, it does nothing to increase energy efficiency or renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

The Iowa Senate may debate the bill today.

We've done the research – nuclear is a wasteful, ineffective approach to our energy and climate crises. Iowa needs to prioritize clean, domestic energy sources that will help businesses, farmers, and homeowners now – wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency. 

Contact your state senator today and tell him or her to vote no on SF 2314/HF 2399 unless it is balanced with policies to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

You can find your senator and contact info here. If you know your legislator, you can call the Senate switchboard: (515) 281-3371.

Contact:
Eric Nost, Environment Iowa
enost@environmentiowa.org

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