The Iowa Utilities Board is proposing the use of eminent domain with wind farms and solar energy collector installation. Eminent domain is the right of a government to take private property for public use. This means even if you do not give a wind developer or utility company access to your land, the IUB could — according to their proposal — still run transmission lines through your property because they claim wind energy is a public utility.
One could argue renewable energy is not a public utility since the energy produced in Iowa leaves the state. In fact, the Clean Energy Line already takes the renewable energy produced by wind farms generating electrical power in northern Iowa to Illinois and the proposed ITC Midwest Dubuque transmission line will export Iowa’s renewable energy to Wisconsin.
Local regulation is needed
In addition to the use of eminent domain, the IUB is proposing a “more streamlined application process that will reduce the regulatory burden to encourage development of renewable energy generating facilities.” More specifically, the IUB wants to dismiss the current use of public information meetings and wants to reduce the application review period.
Currently, wind energy development is regulated and approved at the county level in Iowa. These proposed changes would make wind energy development even more secretive and take away your landowner rights.
The IUB is made up of three appointed, unelected people making decisions for everyone. The IUB’s plan is affecting everyone who owns property in Iowa. The intended outcome of their proposals is to force Iowa to act in a way designed to promote the “common good” to benefit the most people (allegedly), and to prioritize one group of people over individuals. In the case of Iowa, farmers and landowners are being used to meet “green” energy goals.
The three members of the Iowa Utilities Board are not omniscient; they do not know everything. They cannot plan what millions of people should do or what sources of electricity they should use, where wind energy projects should be placed in the 99 counties in Iowa, or how to care for the best farmland in the world and the agricultural businesses ancillary to it. No one has a right to take your land or control your land as IUB is proposing.
Submit your comments now
If you want to protect private property rights, if you do not want to live in an industrial wind project, if you want your family and neighbors protected from the decisions of a three-member board appointed by the governor, then voice your concerns. Talk to your family, friends and neighbors. Contact your legislators. Most importantly, submit a comment to the Iowa Utilities Board before June 22:
- Go to the IUB website, iub.iowa.gov.
- Under the list of IUB dockets, select the first “Rule making for renewable electric” RMU-2020-0028.
- Please comment that you want the IUB to reject docket 2020-0028 because you do not agree with the use of eminent domain for renewable energy or with the removal of public information meetings. Tell IUB that the counties should continue to regulate wind energy development.
I say to the people of Iowa, it is time to stop the madness of industrial wind turbines running over our state. Protect your property rights and submit your comments to the IUB today.
Brenneman writes from Parnell, Iowa.