IUB rules by eminent domain

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     The Iowa Utilities Board (“IUB”) is proposing the use of eminent domain with wind and solar energy.

     Eminent domain is the right of a government to expropriate 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 this 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 takes the renewable energy produced in northern Iowa to Illinois and the proposed ITC Midwest Dubuque transmission line will export Iowa’s renewable energy to Wisconsin.

     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 a public information meeting and reduce the application review period.

     Currently, wind energy development is regulated and approved at the county level. These changes will make wind development even more secretive and remove your landowner rights.

     The IUB is made up of three appointed, unelected, people making decisions for every property owner in Iowa.

     Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors. Contact your legislators today.

Kim Brenneman

Parnell, Iowa

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