Tag Archives: Action Alert

Expanding clean energy in Iowa

The Iowa Legislature is currently considering two bills – SSB1192 and SSB1193 – both which would protect our environment, strengthen our economy, and improve our health and quality of life by expanding access to wind and solar energy.

As the end of session draws near and policy makers begin to prioritize bills for passage, it’s critical that they hear from you, their constituents. Ask your senator to prioritize advancing clean energy in Iowa today.

SSB1192 and SSB1193 would expand access to wind and solar energy by increasing the available funds for wind and solar tax incentives.

SSB1192 and SSB1193 would expand access to wind and solar energy by increasing the available funds for wind and solar tax incentives.

Last year, we successfully advocated for tripling Iowa’s solar tax incentive, which resulted in significant economic opportunities and improved access to solar for businesses, farmers and homeowners. The program has been so effective that demand for the tax incentives still exceeds the annual cap. SSB1192 would increase the annual cap of solar tax incentive from $4.5 million to $6.5 million.

SSB1193 would make improvements to 476C production tax incentives, which provide tax credits annually according to the amount of renewable energy produced. Improvements include the addition of more megawatts in the 476C credit for solar energy, and cleaning up the 476C wind list so that active projects may move forward.

SSB1192 has been approved by subcommittee and is currently in Ways and Means, and SSB1193 is currently assigned to subcommittee in Ways and Means. We must help ensure both bills make it to the floor for debate: take action now.

Together, we can transition Iowa to clean energy, and do so in a way that benefits the state’s environment and health and strengthens our economy.

Act on Climate Change

act on climate
To meaningfully address climate change and its costly impacts on our health, environment and economy, we must confront the leading contributor to climate change: carbon pollution.

Fossil fuel power plants are currently the largest concentrated source of carbon pollution. However, despite accounting for nearly 40% of our nation’s carbon pollution, existing power plants have no federal limits on the amount they emit. The EPA’s recently proposed Clean Power Plan aims to change that.

Arguably the single most important action the EPA has taken to address climate change to date, the proposed Clean Power Plan will require states to cut carbon pollution from their existing power plants and result in an overall national reduction of 30% by 2030 (from 2005 levels). Individual state goals vary depending on local factors.

In addition to the environmental impacts, climate change poses a significant health threat to Iowa. In the recently released Iowa Climate Statement 2014, scientists from 38 Iowa colleges and universities recognized that climate change can contribute to a wide range of health factors including respiratory and cardiovascular problems, increased incidence of vectors (mosquitoes, ticks, etc.) and vector-borne diseases, increased mental health issues and exposure to toxic chemicals, and decreased water quality.

Powerful opponents of the proposal with an interest in maintaining our dependence on coal are determined to undermine it. Your voice is critical. Public comments on the proposal are being accepted through Dec. 1. Take action today and urge the EPA to finalize the strongest possible standards that reduce carbon pollution from power plants.

Protect Our Waterways – support the proposed Clean Water Act rules

The U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed new Clean Water Act rules that clarify - not broaden - which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, including headwater streams and wetlands adjacent to rivers.

The U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed new Clean Water Act rules that clarify – not broaden – which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, including headwater streams and wetlands adjacent to rivers.

As reported in today’s Des Moines Register, Governor Branstad’s office recently submitted a letter to the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers regarding the proposed Clean Water Act rules.

The Iowa Environmental Council disagrees with Governor Branstad’s characterization of the rules in his letter and his assertion that the rule should be withdrawn. We strongly support the rules, which clarify which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, including small headwater streams that flow into larger rivers and to wetlands adjacent to these rivers.

These small streams and wetlands help reduce flooding, supply drinking water, filter pollution and provide critical support and habitat for fish and wildlife in downstream waters.

Iowans want clean water, and these rules advance that goal. We believe that the stakeholder meetings convened by the Governor should have included representation from groups who support federal protections for our waters, including people who drink, fish, swim and boat in our waters. As we know all too well in Des Moines, many pollutants affecting the quality of our drinking water  come from small streams that flow into the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, in some cases crossing state borders. A strong Clean Water Act is needed that clarifies these headwater streams are protected.

Help protect some of our country’s most important waters. Submit your public comments to the U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the proposed Clean Water Act rules today. Public Comments are being accepted through Friday, November 14.

Your calls are needed to close the deal for conservation funding

Your action is needed to close the deal for an important Iowa conservation program.

Your action is needed to close the deal for an important Iowa conservation program.

For much of the last year, Iowans have been working to support providing Iowa’s Resource Enhancement and Protection Program, $25 million in support of its 25th anniversary year.  Despite having provided approximately $300 million in conservation funding to communities in all 99 counties, the legislature has never met is obligation to fully fund the program, meaning many more community-enhancing projects have been left unfunded.


We’ve removed the instructions for taking action here, because

Thanks to the quick action of Iowans like you, reap received funding at historic levels.  learn more >>


 

Want to be ready to protect clean water and Iowa’s environment right when it matters most?  Sign up for Iowa Environmental Council e-News and action alerts now.

Your voice is needed to build Iowa’s leadership in renewable energy

solar

If you own or plan to own a renewable energy installation, your voice is especially important now.

Update [2/24]:  Due to continued problems with its electronic filing system, the Iowa Utilities Board has extended the public comment period by one day.  The board released a statement on the topic that read, in part:  “Because of a recent fire in another state government building, the Board’s electronic filing system (EFS) has experienced some unscheduled down time. Therefore, the Board will extend the deadline for filing responses to February 26, 2014.”

Last month, the Iowa Utilities Board announced a “Notice of Inquiry” to gather information on distributed generation of renewable energy in Iowa.  The notice of inquiry allows the Board to gather information, and evidence suggests some participants want to use this opportunity to dismantle or block important policies supporting distributed wind and solar energy in Iowa.

Iowa’s policy regarding distributed generation affects the state’s ability to lead in renewable energy and to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. For Iowans who have installed wind turbines or solar panels, or want to in the future, these policies govern your relationship with your electric utility and how you are compensated for energy you produce.

This inquiry is your opportunity to tell the Iowa Utilities Board you want take advantage of the substantial and largely untapped potential for solar and wind growth in our state.  You can help build Iowa’s national leadership in renewable energy by submitting your comment to the Board today.

Find out how to submit a comment after the jump.

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