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January 7 Public Input Meeting in Dubuque on Iowa's Clean Energy Future

How Iowa can do its part to fight climate disruption by generating clean energy will be the focus of a public input meeting in Dubuque on Wednesday, January 7.

State Rep. Chuck Isenhart (D-Dubuque) is teaming with Green Dubuque to host the session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Town Clock Center, Northeast Iowa Community College.

Joining Isenhart on the listening panel will be Jason Marcel, air emissions supervisor in the air quality bureau of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

IDNR will be responsible for state implementation of the national Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon air pollution that is heating up the atmosphere. The Environmental Protection Agency will issue final rules in June. Iowa will have a year to put together a plan that can include expanding renewable energy production and energy efficiency, in addition to reducing pollution from power plants fired by fossil fuels.

Marcel will summarize the proposed rules and the comments submitted by the state.

Anyone with ideas or experiences to share may testify.

“Iowa is already ahead of the curve on renewable energy, like wind power. We can do the same with solar, geothermal and other technologies,” Isenhart said. “We also have huge untapped potential in energy efficiency. This is a good year to talk about that because it is the 25th anniversary of the adoption of Iowa’s Energy Efficiency Act.”

Under the proposed EPA Clean Power Plan, states are asked to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030, with a baseline of 2005.  In the United States, electric power plants emit about 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, or roughly 40 percent of the nation's total emissions.

“Investing in our natural resources, generating sustainable economic opportunity for businesses and creating jobs for Iowans all go hand-in-hand,” according to Isenhart. “This plan is an ideal chance for Iowa to showcase that fact and help our electric utilities transition to a more service-oriented customer model.

Isenhart is a member of the Economic Growth Committee in the Iowa House of Representatives and ranking member (lead Democrat) on the Environmental Protection Committee.

“By starting to gather grassroots input now, we will be able to hit the ground running when the final regulations are issued,” Isenhart said. “I will ask fellow legislators to hold similar hearings in their districts during the legislative session.”

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