5 Victories to Be Proud Of!
on Monday, December 19, 2016
2017 is rapidly approaching, and with a new year comes time to reflect on the previous one. From legislative victories, to informing the public, to demanding action on water and clean energy-related issues, 2016 has been full of successes for IEC, our members and our partners. As our staff paused to think about it, five accomplishments in particular stood out to us because each required the support of our members and partners and each will lead to future successes in years to come.
We brought attention to the needs of Iowa’s watersheds. At the beginning of the 2016 legislative session, we issued a policy paper entitled, “Healthy Lands, Healthy Waters” that established significant need for the state to adopt a comprehensive, coordinated approach to addressing the challenges faced by Iowa’s watersheds. The paper drew the attention of a number of Iowa legislators who used its information when speaking about the need for long-term funding for water quality. Our work sparked conversations between citizens and legislators that we will use to fight for a well-funded watershed approach in the 2017 session.
We raised concern for public health. Our report, “Nitrate in Drinking Water: A Public Health Concern for All Iowans” garnered widespread attention in the news. The report reviewed the findings of research conducted in Iowa, the U.S. and abroad that have found nitrate in drinking water associated with several birth defects, bladder cancer and thyroid cancer. Our report highlights the need for more research on this pollutant that is a growing problem for Iowa water supplies and will continue to be the focus of upcoming presentations to a number of organizations, including the 2017 Governor’s Conference on Public Health, and will help drive IEC advocacy efforts for cleaner, safer water at the Capitol in 2017.
We demanded action from EPA on Mississippi River Pollution. IEC worked in partnership with the Mississippi River Collaborative to release a report entitled, “Decades of Delay”, calling EPA out for their lackluster efforts in fighting nutrient pollution in the Mississippi. The steps and funding called for in the report received local, regional, and national media attention informing citizens that simply continuing the status quo is not enough to save the Mighty Mississippi.
We lobbied to protect solar energy. Our advocacy efforts defeated a bill in the Iowa Legislature that would have gutted net-metering, a policy that makes solar a more cost-effective alternative for Iowa farmers, businesses and homeowners. Now the solar industry continues to thrive across Iowa.
We helped to expand wind energy. IEC provided direct support via testimony at the Iowa Utilities Board for two wind power projects enabled, in large part, because of successful work to extend the federal production tax credit in late 2015. These projects promote clean energy jobs and, once built, will put Iowa well above 40% renewable energy and get us close to a significant 10,000 megawatt benchmark by 2020.
Throughout 2016, IEC further established itself as a knowledgeable and well-respected organization citizens and decision-makers can rely upon to use factual information to fight for a better Iowa. Join us in making 2017 a success by becoming a member, staying in touch with us, and telling your legislators that you care about about making Iowa stronger and healthier through action on clean water and clean energy!
- iowa legislature
- nitrate pollution
- phosphorus pollution
- solar power
- solar tax credits
- toxic algae
- wind power
- wind tax credits