DES MOINES - A coalition of organizations and concerned Iowans today launched the “Clean Up MidAm” campaign to hold MidAmerican Energy accountable and ask for a public plan to close its Iowa coal plants by 2030. While MidAmerican Energy advertises a 100% renewable energy vision, it runs one of the largest coal fleets in the country, and is the single largest carbon polluter in Iowa. Click here for a new commercial that will air this week.
Recent analysis filed with the Iowa Utilities Board shows that MidAmerican Energy could save Iowans nearly $1.2 billion over 20 years by retiring all of its coal plants by 2030 and replacing their production with reliable renewable resources. This is on top of the billions customers are already paying in additional health, crop, and climate impact costs.
“MidAmerican Energy’s continued use of coal harms the health and financial well-being of every Iowan,” said Kerri Johannsen, Energy Program Director at the Iowa Environmental Council. “A recent report found the impact to Iowans’ health, our ag economy, and climate stability ranges anywhere from $1.3 billion to $4.6 billion every year. Iowans can’t afford to wait any longer: it is time MidAmerican Energy shares a plan to close its coal plants by 2030.”
MidAmerican’s coal generation hurts rural Iowa’s economy. More than two-thirds of Iowa counties experience corn production losses - as much as one to five million bushels each year - due to the pollution from the continued operation of the MidAmerican coal plants. The value of the estimated annual corn production loss in 2021 was between $368 million and $1.8 billion.
"MidAmerican cannot be a leader of the clean energy transition without retiring its coal plants. MidAmerican should act in the best interest of its customers, the environment, and Iowa’s economy, and provide a transparent plan to close its coal plants. If it doesn’t, the Utilities Board needs to step in," said Josh Mandelbaum, Senior Attorney for ELPC.
“Every year a coal plant stays online is another year of dire impacts. Health impacts from air and water pollution, climate impacts that will only make extreme weather more destructive and more frequent,” said Katie Rock, Iowa Campaign Representative, Sierra Club Beyond Coal. “Every day Iowans feel the economic impacts when it costs more and more to pay for fossil fuels. MidAmerican has no climate goals and no plans to get off coal. It is time for MidAm's actions to catch up to its greenwashed marketing. Coal must go by 2030.”