Governor Branstad’s appointees to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) — Geri Huser, Nick Wagner and Libby Jacobs — should be ashamed of themselves. Sure, it was clear all along that Branstad had stacked the deck in favor of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the Texas company wanting to build the pipeline. But in previous meetings Huser, who chairs the IUB, at least seemed to want to take adequate time to air the range of concerns raised by landowners, environmentalists, Native Americans and defenders of property rights.
But any good-will Huser may have generated over the last month was squandered last Thursday when the IUB took all of seven minutes to summarize its rationale for a unanimous vote in favor of granting eminent domain to ETP.
I don’t use the words “travesty of justice” too often. But that’s the best way to describe the cavalier manner in which the IUB bulldozed its way through a discussion that should have been thoughtful, informative and respectful of public opinion.
Iowans deserve better. Sure, what we really deserved was a “no” vote. But even anticipating the probability of a “yes” vote, the public should have heard a serious, measured discussion before the final vote.
We didn’t get that. And the IUB, DNR, Governor, and Iowa House and Senate lackeys of Big Oil should brace themselves for the next round of popular resistance. Prepare to see us in the Courts, at the Statehouse, and in the “Town Square,” as I call it, where we’ll continue to bring our case before the people of Iowa, whose opposition to the pipeline dropped by 10% over the past year. (In the most recent poll, less than half of all Iowans now support the pipeline.)
And if you want to know who specifically are some of the elected lackeys supporting the pipeline, click HERE to find out which Iowa politicians received donations from ETP. (Kudos to Gavin Aronsen for an excellent piece of investigative journalism.)
This week on the Fallon Forum, Dr. Charles Goldman and I will talk about the ruling. We’ll also prognosticate on the possible outcome of Super Tuesday 2. We’ll hear from Katy Heggen with the Iowa Environmental Council, and State Rep. Dan Kelley discusses his proposal to divest state funds from Exxon because of that corporation’s decades-long deceit, now coming under increased public scrutiny.
Listen to the Fallon Forum live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CST on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. The number to call is (515) 528-8122. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 6:00 a.m. on WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans). Check-out podcasts here.
Thanks! – Ed Fallon
Tue, Mar 22 – Environmental Lobby Day (Des Moines)
Join the Iowa Environmental Council from 9:00-1:00 to lobby lawmakers to support the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program and other sustainable funding sources, including the Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreational Trust Fund. For details, contact Katy Heggen at Heggen@iaenvironment.org or (515) 244-1194 (x210).