Reject Learned Helplessness. Be at the IUB tomorrow.

If you’ve been involved in any sort of activism, you know the frustration of the lack of participation by others.

One of my deepest frustrations has been related to the existential threat of environmental collapse. Fifty years ago, I moved to Indianapolis, and was horrified by the foul air, smog you could actually see, and barely breathe. I was led to live without owning a car from that point. And to try to get others to do whatever they could to stop the accelerating environmental devastation. Fifty years later, you can see where we are. In hindsight, we can imagine what might have happened if we had invested in mass transit back then.

I recently learned the term Learned helplessness from “The Vicious Cycle of American Collapse. How Social Collapse Happens-And Why Americans Feel So Powerless to Stop It” by umair haque, Eudaimonia, July 6, 2022

Tomorrow is a chance to reject learned helplessness. Instead, you can show up at the Iowa Utilities Board at 8:30 am. to object to the construction of carbon (CO2) pipelines. (Details below)

My years in Indianapolis were blessed by connections with wonderful people and organizations fighting for climate justice. I moved to Iowa July 1, 2017, and wondered how I could build new relationships here. By researching using social media, I learn about the work of Ed Fallon and Bold Iowa. I learned of an event to be held at the Iowa State Capitol to petition for the removal Richard W. Lozier, Jr. from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) because of his conflicts of interest. This photo of that event illustrates what a small number of people show up.

Although Ed wasn’t there, Sikowis Nobiss did attend. I reminded her we met when she spoke at Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) a few months earlier. We have since worked on many projects together and I consider her a good friend of mine.

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) has been the site of a number of environmental protests because one of their functions is to approve pipeline projects.

Two people protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline were arrested Wednesday in Des Moines after demanding a meeting at the Iowa Utilities Board.

Jessica Reznicek, who was arrested on a trespassing charge, had been fasting for 10 days with Travis O’Brennan, urging the board to revoke permits for construction on the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Iowa.

Two pipeline protesters arrested at Iowa Utilities Board by Charly Haley, and Linh Ta, Des Moines Register, Nov. 20, 2016

In July, 2017, Ruby Montoya, then a 27-year-old former preschool teacher, and Jessica Reznicek, then a 35-year-old activist, were arrested for damaging the sign at the Iowa Utilities Board.

Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya, right, stand in front of the Iowa Utilities Board in July of 2017 and read statements taking credit for acts of sabotage against the Dakota Access pipeline. Courtesy of Des Moines Catholic Worker Archives

“Some may view these actions as violent, but be not mistaken. We acted from our hearts and never threatened human life nor personal property,” Montoya said. “What we did do was fight a private corporation that has run rampant across our country, seizing land and polluting our nation’s water supply. You may not agree with our tactics, but you can clearly see their necessity in light of the broken federal government and the corporations they represent.”

As a result of this admission, Montoya and Reznicek were indicted on nine felony charges of intentionally damaging energy infrastructure — a designation that can render a private, commercial company’s enterprise a matter of federal concern. 

‘You Strike a Match’ Why two women sacrificed everything to stop the Dakota Access pipeline by Julia Shipley, Grist, May 26, 2021

We were at the Iowa Utilities Board September 1, 2018, to start our sacred journey, the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March. A small group of us walked and camped along the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline, from our beginning here in Des Moines, to Fort Dodge, a distance of 94 miles, over eight days.

Regina Tsosie sings a song at the press conference at the Iowa Utilities Board regarding the improper use of eminent domain for the Dakota Access Pipeline. And the beginning of the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March.

Regina Tsosie sings a song at the press conference at the Iowa Utilities Board regarding the improper use of eminent domain for the Dakota Access Pipeline

Tomorrow, July 12, we will again gather at the Iowa Utilities Board, this time to object to the construction of carbon (CO2) pipelines in Iowa.

Please join us July 12th, 8:30 am at the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) monthly board meeting. The board is preparing to handle permit requests for three hazardous carbon pipelines in Iowa.

There are many reasons why carbon pipelines should not be built, including:

  • these are unproven processes
  • even though the main argument for carbon pipelines is removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some of the captured carbon is actually used for more oil fracking
  • the abuse of eminent domain
  • and significant, long-term impacts on farmland.
  • In addition, these are hazardous material pipelines

When a carbon pipeline explodes, huge amounts of carbon dioxide escape into the air, replacing oxygen, and potentially killing people and animals. Such an explosion and some of those consequences actually happened in Satartia, Mississippi. See: CO2 Pipeline Dangers.

No CO2 Pipelines in Iowa

Join the Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition for a rally at the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) monthly board meeting. We won’t stand by as corporations endanger our land, our communities, and our climate by abusing eminent domain. CO2 pipelines pose a multitude of threats to all Iowans. From destroying farmland to the threat of asphyxiation if a pipeline leaks, Iowans are carrying all the risks, while Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry make off with the reward.

As the Iowa Utilities Board prepares to handle permit requests for three hazardous carbon pipelines, it’s crucial that they know 80% of Iowans oppose using eminent domain for carbon pipelines. It’s time Iowa’s decision-makers learn that we will not accept greedy corporate interests being put before their needs.

Let’s show the Iowa Utilities Board how powerful we are when we stand together!

Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is not the answer to the climate emergency. CCS is unproven, dangerous and delays real solutions to the climate crisis such as energy conservation, regenerative agriculture and renewable energy.

Great Plains Action Society

Great Plains Action Society. An indigenous collective working to resist and indigenize colonial institutions, ideologies, and behaviors.

Buffalo Rebellion

Buffalo Rebellion is a coalition of Iowa grassroots organizations that are growing a movement for climate action that centers racial and economic justice!

Formed in 2021, Buffalo Rebellion is comprised of seven Iowa organizations: Great Plains Action Society, DSM Black Liberation Movement, Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, Sierra Club Beyond Coal, Cedar Rapids Sunrise Movement, SEIU Local 199, and Iowa CCI

Iowa Sierra Club

Ní Btháska Stand

Ní Btháska Stand

Direct Action Collaboration between Great Plains Action SocietNí Btháska Stand Collective at Iowa State Capitol sending a strong message to policymakers:


Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
With thousands of members from all walks of life, we get things done on critical issues

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