Letters to the Editor

Energy law bad for consumers, environment

A May 15 guest column by Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company, claimed “Iowa energy law brings welcome change.”

The column brings to mind the famous saying by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

The new law, Senate File 2311, passed by Republicans without a single Democratic vote, and even opposed by several Republicans, will cause higher utility costs, loss of clean energy jobs and more damage to the environment.

It does this by putting an arbitrary legislative cap on energy efficiency investments of 2 percent of utility revenues, much lower than the amount of energy efficiency investment currently required by the Iowa Utilities Board. That board (all appointees of former Gov. Terry Branstad) found that more energy efficiency was the lowest cost way to meet Iowans’ energy needs.

But Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate and Gov. Kim Reynolds overrode the board and voted to reduce investment in energy efficiency by more than $100 million per year in Iowa.

Less investment means fewer jobs designing and installing energy efficiency and more pollution as more coal and natural gas is burned. This law is not good for consumers, workers or the environment — even if it may be good for Alliant Energy’s bottom line.

I’m asking you to help us elect legislators who will overturn horrible bills like this one and begin to move our state back in the right direction.

Mike Wyrick

Chair, Cedar Wapsie Sierra Club

Chair, Corridor Conservation Coalition

Cedar Rapids

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