Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

IEC and Coalition Partners Launch "Clean Up MidAm" Campaign to Hold MidAmerican Energy Accountable for Health and Wealth of Iowans 

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.”

Iowa Energy News 

Building electrification essential to meet Des Moines’ climate goals

The Des Moines City Council will soon consider a tax abatement initiative for new buildings to go fossil-fuel-free by building all-electric. Building electrification can help communities meet their clean energy goals.

Building electrification involves switching appliances that run on methane gas to units that run on electricity. With Des Moines'  commitment to achieve carbon-free electricity by 2035, that means those appliances will be run on 100% clean energy. Examples include electric heat pumps to provide home heating or induction cooktops for cooking. 

Having an all-electric incentive for new buildings is an important first step for the city to expand sustainable infrastructure, improve citizen health, and meet its clean energy commitments. Learn more about the benefits of building electrification,  the available technology, and how Des Moines can incentivize decarbonization in our latest blog

Update: Legislative activities at the Iowa Utilities Board

IEC continues to work to ensure that the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) considers coal plant retirements and has authority to investigate utility activities.

We are pursuing that by appealing an IUB decision: IUB held that MidAmerican did not have to consider our evidence about coal plant retirements in its plans to manage coal plant air emissions.

With the Environmental Law and Policy Center and Sierra Club, we appealed that decision to district court last year. A Polk County District Court order in January upheld the IUB decision; we filed notice of appeal with the Iowa Supreme Court last month.

In the next few months, we will file briefs arguing that our evidence on coal plant retirements must be considered by the IUB.

Team Introductions: Meet IEC's Clean Communities Manager, Matt Ohloff

Matt Ohloff joined us in December as IEC's Clean Communities Manager and brings more than 15 years of issue advocacy and community organizing experience.

"I’m extremely fortunate to have had these opportunities and to have worked with many amazing​ people over the years. I’ve looked to IEC staff for technical and policy expertise on a number of issues over the years. The organization continues to provide this expertise while expanding its grassroots organizing work and its focus on equity and environmental justice. This is an exciting and urgent time to work on these issues, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to help achieve a 100% clean energy vision for Iowa."

In his new role, he'll help local communities implement policies to support their clean energy goals. Read more about his background in his introductory blog here


Watch Now: 100% Iowa City Campaign Video

When cities adopt 24/7 carbon-free energy commitments, they drive utilities to grow their clean energy generation and end fossil fuel reliance. Last January, Des Moines passed a resolution that will require MidAmerican Energy to provide the city with 100% clean energy around the clock, and other cities in Iowa are gearing up to do the same. IEC's 100% Iowa project is spearheading community-driven movements in Iowa City and Waterloo to educate the public and motivate their city council city leaders to pass similar commitments. Collectively, these three cities account for nearly a third of MidAmerican Energy’s retail sales, so these commitments can be leveraged when city franchise agreements are renegotiated to push for coal plant closures.

Local action packs a punch and will drive us towards a cleaner future. Learn about Iowa City's 24/7 carbon-free energy initiative, and why bold, local climate action is needed.

IEC Energy Events and Activities

Find IEC at Earth Day Events Around Iowa

Earth Day is Friday, April 22, and communities, businesses, and organizations around the state are planning celebrations. We're making plans to attend several, so please stop by and say hello to IEC and 100% Iowa staff if you see us at an event in your area! Find us at:

• the Earth Expo in Iowa City on 4/3
• the One Sustainable Iowa Student Conference in Iowa City on 4/9
• the Clear Lake Green Expo on 4/21
Earth Day at the Garden, Des Moines Botanical Garden on 4/23
EcoFest 2022 at Newbo City Market in Cedar Rapids on 4/23
Party for the Planet, National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque on 4/23

Upcoming Energy Events

3/31: Energy Burden and the Clean Energy Transition Webinar, Just Solutions Collective

4/3: Earth Expo 2022- Iowa City, Green Iowa AmeriCorps

4/8: Examining Carbon Capture Through a Public Health & Environmental Justice Lens, PSR & Environmental Health Network.

4/9: 2022 One Sustainable Iowa Student Conference, The University of Iowa

4/9: Labor & Climate Justice Summit, BlueGreen Alliance of Iowa

4/11: Speaking of... Reasons for Hope Climate Change Discussion, Virtual

4/19 - Iowa Climate Strike, Des Moines

4/21 - 4/22: Hawkeye Decarbonization Summit 2022, University of Iowa Public Policy Center

4/22: For the Love of All Creation: Church and Climate Change, Iowa IPL

4/23: Earth Day Picnic, Good Neighbor Iowa

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

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences