Public comments at Iowa Utilities Board

I was glad to see a number of friends, and others I don’t know, at yesterday’s monthly Iowa Utilities Board Meeting (IUB). Some traveled some distance. From Iowa City, for example.

And yet, it is discouraging to see so few people engaged with things like this carbon pipeline resistance. Additionally, it is crazy to see the US Supreme court gut the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to protect almost anything. And the Biden administration doing all it can to stimulate oil production.

There was the expected Iowa State Patrol presence at the IUB, both outside and in the hearing room.

I was struck by the symbolism of the board versus the crowd. The board members on a dais, everyone dressed in suits. The participants dressed casually. Seated a long way from the board members.

Video monitors were all over the place. Initially displaying the agenda. But then during open comments, showing the time clicking down from three minutes, the limit for each person to comment. You could feel the reluctance of the board members to hear the comments. And yet, the instructions from the board to individual participants were polite.

I wish I could have stayed longer, but all the comment I heard were articulate expressions of strong opposition to the carbon pipelines. One county supervisor said he was convinced that the approval was a foregone conclusion, and these hearings were a sham. A farmer described how the pipeline would not only destroy his tile system but impact the farms upstream from his.

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