The Iowa Environmental Council closely monitors state and federal environmental policies and programs that could affect Iowa’s land, water, climate, and transition to clean energy.
Each program sets overarching priorities that we believe represent significant opportunities for progress, or address the greatest threats to Iowa’s natural resources. We also have shared priorities, which are listed below. Each year, we set specific legislative priorities that outline our focus for that year's session.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their communities are disproportionately and unjustly impacted by pollution, public health disparities, and economic injustices. Additionally, implicit bias and systemic inequality are inherent in many environmental laws and regulations. We also acknowledge that our work takes place on the ancestral and traditional territories of numerous Indigenous peoples. We will look for opportunities to fight systemic racism and inequality where we find it in energy and water regulations, laws, and policies, including examining the disproportionate negative impacts of poor water and air quality, flooding, lack of access to public lands and outdoor recreation opportunities, and high energy bills on BIPOC and marginalized communities.
Focus areas for the organization include:
- Engaging more diverse voices on energy, climate, water, and land policies to center justice and equity in our work, ensure BIPOC individuals and groups are not only part of our movement but lead in their areas of expertise, and increase IEC’s impact on environmental policy for the benefit of all Iowans.
- Working to expand our coalition to not only invite more diverse voices into our coalition, but also listen, learn, and support BIPOC in related movements.
- Ensuring that environmental justice considerations are meaningfully included in all IEC policy proposals.
Climate change is a crosscutting issue that both programs will work to engage on and address in different but complementary ways. We will use a common framework based on the understanding that Iowa can be a leader in mitigating the effects of climate change and becoming a carbon neutral state. From renewable energy production to conservation practices that sequester carbon, Iowans are well-positioned to be at the forefront on climate. Measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change will also create new economic markets, increase community resiliency, reduce pollution, protect public health, and improve habitat. We will advocate for a just transition that allows people to realize the full value of Iowa land, water, and ecosystem services while securing a more resilient future for Iowa.