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Waterloo adopts ambitious 24/7 carbon-free electricity goal

Originally posted on 7/18/22 in 100% Iowa's Newsroom

On Monday, July 18, the Waterloo City Council voted unanimously to adopt a goal of reaching community-wide carbon-free electricity by the year 2035. With the resolution’s passage, Waterloo joins Des Moines as the second city in Iowa to commit to 24/7 carbon-free electricity, and the fourth nationwide.

“We commend the City Council, Mayor, and local advocates who helped make Waterloo the latest city pledged to 24/7 carbon-free electricity,” said IEC’s energy outreach manager Jordan Oster. “This commitment puts Waterloo on the leading edge of meaningfully addressing climate change by ensuring electricity delivered to residents will come from fossil fuel-free sources by 2035. This goal is both aggressive and achievable—and will help Waterloo create new economic opportunities, provide affordable power, and build a more resilient community.” 

The goal of the resolution sets Waterloo apart from other types of clean energy goals typically seen at the local level. Waterloo seeks electricity that is carbon-free, instead of using less aggressive approaches that utilize carbon offsets seen with some 100% renewable energy pledges. This requires the energy sourced to the city to be from clean energy like solar and wind, around-the-clock, rather than the mix of energy from both fossil fuels and renewable sources that is available today. This will also result in the adoption of technologies to better manage, dispatch, and store clean energy resources.


Watch Now: 100% Waterloo — Iowa's cities are leading on climate action

Waterloo and Des Moines have now committed to 100% clean energy around-the-clock by 2035. Which Iowa city will be next? Celebrate the news with this new video from 100% Iowa

Iowa Energy News 

MISO board approves $10.3B transmission plan to support renewables

On Monday, The Midwest Independent System Operator’s (MISO) board approved the largest-ever investment in transmission lines in the United States — a $10.3 billion project — that could support around 53 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects in its northern and central regions, which includes Iowa.

MISO estimates that the projects’ benefits could result in more than twice their costs in terms of present value net benefits over 40 years. These 18 new lines will accommodate an anticipated shift in the region's generation mix, including the expected retirement of many coal-fired power plants. It will also provide enhanced reliability benefits for the customers in the north region. 

Iowa schools encouraged to apply for EPA electric bus funding

Between high gas prices and greater health and environmental concerns, schools are increasingly considering transitioning their school bus fleets to all-electric to save on fuel and maintenance costs.

Interested school districts can now apply for electric buses through the 2022 Clean School Bus Program to assist with costs. The money is being administered by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

State auditor Rob Sand says that more than 200 school districts in Iowa meet the criteria to apply for the funding. Applications are being taken by the EPA through August 19th. Learn more here

Advocates shift focus to local solutions after SCOTUS limits EPA's authority

In a 63 decision issued last month, the United States Supreme Court restricted the EPA's ability to regulate power plant emissions under the Clean Air Act. Elizabeth Wagner, an Iowa City-based organizer with 100% Iowa, was asked to speak to this setback in an interview with the Daily Iowan.

Wager said this leaves the EPA without the biggest tool in its toolbox to regulate emissions to combat climate change. “I think that this decision really highlights the importance of local solutions and local climate action. We know that local communities feel the impact of climate change the most intensely and now that we see there’s no forward action on climate at a federal level,” she continues. Read the full interview here.


New Publication: The Real Reason the Midwest is Facing Potential Blackouts this Summer

As Iowa heats up, forecasters are expecting the summer to be yet another one for the record books in terms of heat. That means more demand for air conditioning and more strain on our electricity resources. At every opportunity, fossil fuel companies claim that renewables are to blame for this strain. This is not true. A rapid and full transition to clean energy can save Iowans money while improving reliability and grid resilience to extreme weather events.

In this whitepaper, we tackle the short- and long-term changes that must happen to get us to that future, and the barriers that are causing the risks we are hearing about for the summer. What's causing this?


ADAPT DSM Community Survey

The City of Des Moines is developing a community-wide climate action and adaptation plan — ADAPT DSM — and needs your input. Visit the website to learn more and see how you can get involved: dsm.city/adapt.

Des Monies, residents: Share your input through our community survey. 


IEC Events

Iowa Gives Green

Iowa Gives Green is back for its second year on Wednesday, August 3. This year, we've added more organizations from across the state to this exciting day of giving to support environmental organizations around Iowa. 

IEC has secured a $5,000 match for donations given to IEC during Iowa Gives Green and we need your support to help us reach this goal. We hope you'll support IEC generously, and consider gifts to our environmental partners at iowagivesgreen.org.

Wild & Scenic Film Fest

IEC is hosting our first in-person Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the Palms Theater in Waukee on Sunday, September 11. We'll have a slate of great environmentally focused films, a live panel during the intermission, and all your favorite movie snacks!

Space in the theater is limited, so get your tickets early to ensure you've got a seat. Get your tickets by July 31 using code WSFF2022 to save 10% off your ticket price, and you'll get a link to watch a WSFF film not included in our event lineup! Don't wait — get your tickets today to join us!

Green Gala & Art Auction

Save the date! IEC's inaugural Green Gala & Art Auction, will take place on Thursday, November 10 at Mainframe Studios in Des Moines. We'll have music, energy-focused awards, and we'll auction off unique pieces inspired by Iowa's environment created by local artists to raise money for our work. 

Ticket details are coming, so for now nominate a deserving Iowan for a clean energy award and/or invite an artist in your life to submit a piece to be included in the auction. Award nominations are due August 15; artist submission forms are due September 5.

Upcoming Energy Events

7/28: In the market for an electric school bus? Ask us anything, Alliance for Electric School Buses

7/31: 2022 Rooftop Concert, Dubuque County Energy District

8/2: Carbon Program Information Session, Trees Forever

8/4: New Federal Funding Opportunities for Affordable Housing Retrofits, ACEEE

8/7: The Science Festival Trail, Science Iowa

8/11: Understanding Racism and Implicit Bias in Building Decarbonization, Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition

8/25: Undoing White Supremacy Culture in Building Decarbonization, Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition

Have an upcoming event we don't have listed here? Send it to us at iecmail@iaenvironment.org

505 Fifth Ave. Suite 850 
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2317

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