Thursday, June 25

Kresowik: We Need ACES and Truth from Critics

From University of Iowa Student President and current Sierra Club staffer Mark Kresowik:

Friends, tomorrow a remarkable bill will be voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives. It's called the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), was drafted by Congressmen Waxman and Markey, with some excellent work by our own Congressman Braley, and would be the first time our U.S. Congress made a serious effort to deal with global warming. I wasn't going to write anything until after the vote, but the misrepresentations being spouted by MidAmerican Energy in Iowa, and then the RNCC and electric cooperatives going after Congressman Braley this week, really got to me.

I have put a lot of time into analyzing the bill and the modeling done by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Congressional Budget Office. I have tracked this bill from its draft form through committee and now tomorrow, to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

I can tell you that MidAmerican, Iowa's electric cooperatives, and the GOP are full of crap. And then Congressman Boswell bought their nonsense hook, line, and sinker. So we need to contact our Congressional officials and make sure they know we're not buying what MidAm is trying to sell, and that the ACES bill needs to go forward to the Senate.

Congressman Loebsack's number - (202) 225-6576
Thank Congressman Braley for his hard work - (202) 225-2911
Congressman Boswell's number - : (202) 225-3806

First, MidAmerican and Iowa's other utilities had the very stupid idea to build a very dirty coal plant in Council Bluffs a few years ago. Their bad management decisions shouldn't be taken out on this legislation or ratepayers. They may want to whine about it, but they should bear some of the cost of their bad decisions (sound familiar?).

Second, this bill is not going to cause the rate increases these utilities are claiming. We're already giving these utilities more than 50% of their pollution for free, and even if they had to pay for all the extra pollution beyond those allowances rates would increase less than half what MidAmerican is claiming. And why is that a bad thing? It gives them an incentive to actually reduce pollution, imagine that. With the strong energy efficiency provisions, energy use in the country will be held flat - even as the economy rebounds - through 2020. Which means those of you who take advantage of efficiency opportunities may ultimately be paying less than you would if this bill doesn't pass.

Finally, that doesn't count all of the jobs Iowa stands to get from investing in clean, renewable energy or the payments to farmers to practice better soil conservation and stewardship to reduce pollution. Iowa is a leader in a lot of those areas, and this bill recognizes and rewards that.

ACES would be a huge boon to the state of Iowa, to our economy, and to the environment. MidAmerican's crap shouldn't be left unopposed.

If you do one thing today or Friday, please call Congressmen Loebsack, Braley, and Boswell.

Congressman Loebsack's number - (202) 225-6576
Thank Congressman Braley for his hard work - (202) 225-2911
Congressman Boswell's number - : (202) 225-3806

If you want more information about what MidAm is saying and why it is so blatantly wrong, send me an email. I'm happy to run you through the economics and impacts of the bill. I'm not saying it is perfect, but it should pass on to the Senate. We need it.

Thank you very much,


P.S. I'm not writing this as a staff member of the Sierra Club. The lies being tossed around Iowa right now hit me personally. I've spent way too much time on these issues to watch MidAmerican and the electric cooperatives misrepresent the impacts of this bill on people who are already struggling to pay their electric bills. Their statements don't serve their ratepayers. This bill does an enormous amount, possibly even too much, to cushion electric utilities and ratepayers. And it will certainly be good for Iowa. Even if you don't agree with the bill, stand up for truth in advertising!

One more thing. According to the EPA's latest modeling results, released this morning, average household electricity expenditures go DOWN through 2015 by 3.5% with ACES compared to business as usual. If you needed any more evidence that MidAmerican is full of crap, there is it is.

1 comment:

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