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Legislative and Policy Action Alerts 


Tell your US senators “Hands off Iowa’s solar!”

added 6/9/2020

This year’s state legislative session brought about a new law meant to help solar energy shine bright for years to come. 

Thanks to the work of the Iowa Environmental Council and our partners, Senate File 583 passed unanimously, making Iowa law protective of net metering. This will allow solar owners to get fair credit for their energy production in MidAmerican and Alliant Energy territories. Read More: New Iowa Law Keeps Solar Growing.

Even as we are celebrating Iowa’s adoption of good solar policy, a shadowy utility-backed group has petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to take away states’ ability to guarantee solar customers receive fair credit for the electricity they produce.

This move could undo the work of Iowa lawmakers and advocates in SF 583. If the petition is successful, it would take away state oversight of net metering and give it to the federal government. FERC should not get involved in Iowa’s solar policy. 

You can take action to protect Iowans’ solar rights. Write our US senators now to say “Hands off Iowa’s solar!”


Tell Legislators to Continue Funding REAP

added 6/3/2020

As the state legislature reconvenes in Des Moines, now is the time to call on legislators to continue funding for the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program and extend the sunset date. The legislature must take action this session to extend the FY 2021 sunset and continue to fund important work across the state of Iowa to benefit local communities.  

Since 1989, REAP-funded projects have increased community resilience, public health, and quality of life in all 99 Iowa counties. REAP prioritizes natural spaces for safe, healthy outdoor recreation; protects soil, water, and wildlife habitat; preserves cultural treasures; and provides conservation education programming. 

Gov. Reynolds included REAP in the Invest in Iowa Act, with a proposed allocation of $17 million. With Covid-19 abruptly interrupting this year’s session and the state shifting its focus to pandemic relief efforts, it is unlikely that Invest in Iowa will pass this session. Because of this, REAP’s future is uncertain.  

During the pandemic this spring, Iowans flocked to outdoor spaces with their families and found open spaces to be rejuvenating respites from anxiety and cabin fever. REAP is a program that already exists and can bring tangible benefits to local communities; projects will help revitalize communities and create jobs as the state recovers. As legislators consider opportunities to help Iowans across the state in the near term, REAP should be a top funding priority. 

The legislature should fund REAP and extend the sunset date. REAP is an established and successful program that will provide immediate recovery opportunities for Iowans in their local communities. 

We ask you to take action now and contact legislators to encourage them to give this bill the consideration it deserves.

Take Action on REAP


Tell Legislators to Support Renter Access to Energy Costs

added 2/11/2020

Energy efficiency is crucial for Iowa’s clean energy transition. But it is also a pocketbook issue for many in the state. 

The Iowa Environmental Council is supportive of House Study Bill 635, a piece of legislation that would require landlords of apartments with 12 or more units to disclose average utility costs to a prospective tenant before they sign a lease. 

This pro-consumer transparency bill will give renters information about the true and total costs of a particular rental property. Apartments with the lowest rental costs can often have the highest utility costs, including energy costs. Iowa’s low- to middle-income families will benefit most from this disclosure.

Requiring landlords to disclose this information will help create a market for more efficient rental units. With units that have lower utility costs increasing in demand, more landlords will be incentivized to make building upgrades that reduce energy waste and save renters on utility costs. 

HSB 635 will better inform Iowa’s tenants, reduce energy waste and costs, and help spur building upgrades that benefit local economies. 

Take action now and ask members of the HSB 635 subcommittee to support this important bill. 

Take Action on HSB 635


Submit Comments on the 2018 Impaired Waters List by December 28

Updated 12/20/2019

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources released the draft 2018 303(d) Impaired Waters List for the state of Iowa on Thursday, November 14, 2019. The list is comprised of lakes, wetlands, streams, and rivers that do not meet all state water quality standards. Review of the list reveals that of the waters tested by IDNR staff for the 2018 report, more than half (54%) are impaired for a variety of reasons such as indicator bacteria, turbidity (soil in the water), pH, and algae.

The 2018 report lists 767 total waterbodies assessed with 1,110 impairments. The 2016 report listed 750 waterbodies with 1,096 impairments. Of the 43 new segments that were assessed, 34 (or 79%) were listed as impaired. Those remaining on the list are carryovers from previous reports. Few waters were removed from the list for TMDL completion or water improvements.

The DNR is accepting public comments on the draft list now through December 28, 2019. Following the end of the public comment period, the draft list will be modified based on the comments received, and the revised list will be forwarded to U.S. EPA for their review and approval or disapproval.

IEC has submitted comments to the DNR. IEC's assessment calls out the high proportion of assessed waters that are impaired, that a high proportion of state public beaches are on the impaired waters list, that the DNR has not addressed the EPA's recently updated microcystin recommendation, and the impacts of the significantly delayed release of the 2018 list (expected before April 2018 but released in November 2019).

You are encouraged to submit comments to the DNR for their consideration. You can do this in several ways:

  • review IEC's official comments submitted to the DNR and submit your own copy;
  • view the DNR's interactive map to identify an impaired water body (red or yellow) near your home, work, or vacation spot and write a general message highlighting how you use the water and that you'd like them to address and correct the impairment in a timely fashion; or
  • draft comments related to:
    • overall takeaways
    • data accuracy
    • the process by which the DNR creates the list
    • actions the DNR should take in response to the list
    • specific water quality standards used to assess the waters

Please e-mail comments by December 28, 2019, to Dan Kendall at the following address: daniel.kendall@dnr.iowa.gov

Comments can also be mailed by December 28, 2019 to:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Attention: Dan Kendall
Water Quality Monitoring & Assessment Section
Wallace State Office Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319


Tell Representative Finkenauer and Representative Axne to support Iowa's clean energy economy

added 12/5/2019

As the end of the year approaches, Congress is considering action on a set of clean energy tax incentives. Federal policymakers’ decisions in the next few months will either accelerate or stall progress to deploy clean energy solutions needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Speaker Pelosi will play a key role in the fate of this legislation. If you live in the 1st or 3rd District, now is the time to ask your representatives to tell Speaker Pelosi to move this legislation forward. Contact Representative Abby Finkenauer or Representative Cindy Axne and ask them to please consider:

  • Extending the existing Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar, wind, and the other covered clean energy technologies through 2024. The ITC has helped to create almost 1,000 jobs in Iowa and a solar supply chain including 100 businesses across the state. There is solar in every Iowa county helping farmers and small businesses reduce fixed costs and prosper.
  • Expanding the 30 percent ITC to apply to batteries and electricity storage systems. Energy storage helps integrate more renewable energy onto our electric grid and increases grid reliability and resiliency. Building out storage will maximize the productivity of Iowa’s existing wind and growing solar resources.  
  • Extending and modifying tax incentives for energy efficiency, which save residential consumers and businesses money and reduce harmful air pollution. The Section 179D deduction for energy efficient commercial and multifamily buildings has expired and should be extended. The 25C incentive for homeowner efficiency improvements and Section 45L incentive for energy efficient new homes are outdated and should be modified to reflect new technologies and market conditions.

Decisions on these tax items will likely happen before December 20, 2019. Please CALL Representative Finkenauer at (202) 225-2911 or Representative Axne at (202) 225-5476 and leave a message or use the buttons below to send an email with your comments in support of these extensions.

Discussions and negotiations on these clean energy multiplier policies are happening as we speak – don’t hesitate. Contact Representative Finkenauer or Representative Axne today and ask them to take action to support Iowa’s clean energy economy!



Tell Senator Grassley to support Iowa's clean energy economy

added 11/21/2019

As the end of the year approaches, Congress is considering action on a set of clean energy tax incentives. Federal policymakers’ decisions in the next few months will either accelerate or stall progress to deploy clean energy solutions needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Senator Grassley, as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, will play a key role in the fate of this legislation. As someone who cares about stopping climate pollution and supporting clean energy, we are asking you to TAKE ACTION. Contact Senator Grassley and ask him to please consider:

  • Extending the existing Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar, wind, and the other covered clean energy technologies through 2024. The ITC has helped to create almost 1,000 jobs in Iowa and a solar supply chain including 100 businesses across the state. There is solar in every Iowa county helping farmers and small businesses reduce fixed costs and prosper.
  • Expanding the 30 percent ITC to apply to batteries and electricity storage systems. Energy storage helps integrate more renewable energy onto our electric grid and increases grid reliability and resiliency. Building out storage will maximize the productivity of Iowa’s existing wind and growing solar resources.  
  • Extending and modifying tax incentives for energy efficiency, which save residential consumers and businesses money and reduce harmful air pollution. The Section 179D deduction for energy efficient commercial and multifamily buildings has expired and should be extended. The 25C incentive for homeowner efficiency improvements and Section 45L incentive for energy efficient new homes are outdated and should be modified to reflect new technologies and market conditions.

Decisions on these tax items will likely happen before December 20, 2019. Please CALL Senator Grassley at (202) 224–3744 and leave a message or click here to send an email with your comments in support of these extensions.

Discussions and negotiations on these clean energy multiplier policies are happening as we speak – don’t hesitate. Contact Senator Grassley today and ask him to take action to support Iowa’s clean energy economy!