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Democrats claim “secret talks” between GOP and corporate special interests on closing of Iowa Energy Center

This news story was published on July 7, 2017.
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Abby Finkenauer, state legislator

DES MOINES – State Representative Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque, Ranking Member of the House Government Oversight Committee, called for an Oversight Committee hearing today after new emails allegedly revealed collusion between state officials and utility companies to close the Iowa Energy Center.

“Republicans and the Reynolds administration took these actions in secret because they are more interested in looking out for corporate special interests, not Iowans who depend on the clean energy industry for good jobs,” said Finkenauer. “It’s important for Iowans to know when the Reynolds Administration is working with special interests behind closed doors to shut down research on renewable energy.”

Last month, Rep. Finkenauer requested access to all email communication from Iowa State’s lobbyist regarding the transfer proposal. That email communication revealed a coordinated, closed-door effort between Iowa State and powerful utility lobbyists to transfer the research program to the Iowa Economic Development Authority and end funding for the program in 2022. It was approved by Republicans in the state legislature in April.

“This was just the first step in holding Republicans accountable as well as spearheading efforts to bring transparency and accountability to the way we spend and allocate taxpayer dollars,” added Finkenauer. “House Democrats recognize that clean energy and jobs go hand and hand in Iowa, and we will not stop fighting for Iowa’s working families and our environment. With so many jobs at stake, we need to make sure outside influence is not controlling our energy policy and work continues to research and develop the next generation of renewable energy technology.”

The renewable energy research program is a non-partisan institute that has helped make Iowa a leader in renewable energy. The clean energy industry powers nearly 28,500 Iowa jobs annually, while renewable fuels contribute nearly another 43,000 jobs to our economy.

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28 Responses to Democrats claim “secret talks” between GOP and corporate special interests on closing of Iowa Energy Center

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 9, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Did Maxine use a strap- on the chicago-knight.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 9, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Hey Hal – what if you die before 65 – your account is deleted or your wife gets 50% of your money till she passes away – lots of people die before age 65 and unlike public servant sector employees who are guaranteed 10 years pension – hell they can even leave it to anyone they want (grandchild) oh yea and the death benefit 250 bucks don’t cover the cost of flowers – It’s better than nothing but to survive most retired people have to get a part time job to survive you know supplemental insurance and property taxes for each average 5/10 thousand per year sucking up most of SS benefits.

  3. Watchdog Reply Report comment

    July 9, 2017 at 8:32 am

    First of all I don’t believe the job numbers in this article. Second, the amount of money we subsidize the alternative energy scheme is nothing more than welfare for the rich.

    LVS is correct to say they should pay their own way and complete with ALL forms of energy in open and free markets.

    Last and most important, Climate Change is total hoax. The data used to claim the planet is warming has been doctored to promote a political agenda and extract money from the American taxpayers.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 9, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Wow, after reading this comment I just lost what little respect I had left for you watchdog

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 9, 2017 at 9:32 am

      One of the functions of government is to correct market failures. Alternative energy must be subsidized to diversify our energy portfolio. Our national security and future economic health depends upon it.

      Do you really believe the BILLIONS of tons of CO2 (a green house gas) mankind pumps into the atmosphere every year has no effect on our planet?!?!?! Where else in Mother Nature is there a free lunch like this?!?! If we dumped millions of gallons of paint thinner into a lake, would it have no effect?!?!?!

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        July 9, 2017 at 9:16 pm

        Wrong, free markets correct market failures. It it government putting their nose in where it don’t belong that screws up the markets. Granted sometimes markets go hell but they will correct themselves when left to free enterprise. There is always going to be winners and losers. It is NOT up to Government to decide which of the buddies gets to be the winners.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          July 9, 2017 at 9:36 pm

          Some things are debatable. This one isn’t. One of the roles of government is to correct market failures. If you don’t understand why, that is a problem.

          • Anonymous

            July 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

            What we have here is another big government guy who loves it when government jumps in and screws up the markets. Government IS THE PROBLEM.

            You are what is wrong with America!

          • Anonymous

            July 10, 2017 at 11:09 am

            What’s wrong with America is that too many people get their education from conservative talk radio and self profess themselves experts on all matters. It still boggles the mind that your vote counts just the same as mine.

            Just like national defense and providing a legal framework, correcting market failures is a indisputable function of government. You keep talking about free markets which are theoretical and do not exist in practical application. Consider a true free market and discount retail. In this scenario, Walmart would buy out all its competition tomorrow leaving consumers with no choices you n the market. Government corrects this market failure through regulation.

            Here’s another example, services for the disabled. There would be no market which serves the disabled efficiently, so the government corrects this market failure through regulation.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        July 9, 2017 at 9:21 pm

        To many Progressive/Democrats on the take. I am betting the “secret talks” are just more BS and creating a problem where there is none. The liberals just don’t like the new policies so they are going to carp about some e-mails. Sounds like closing the Energy Center is saving money.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 9, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Your right about Iowan voters – they were conned into voting for the sleazeball demorat obunghole – won the state and dam near destroyed the country. Liars and thieves (locals too).

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      While I agree Obama’s legacy is inflated (he was a largely a ineffective leader who’s presidency should be remembered as the definition of mediocrity), he clearly came no where near destroying the country. That job, however, was nearly accomplished by the ‘W’ administration who bankrupted the country.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 9, 2017 at 7:07 am

    We have same secret talks here in our county – officials and corporations and how to T I F (stiff) the local property owners to donate their hard earned money to special interest groups and of course get a piece of the pie.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 8, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Just heard a federal judge over ruled iowa law that made it a crime to photograph or report animal abuse on Iowa farms or meat/chicken/turkey packing plants. That was a payoff scheme to some of our filthy elected officals. Drain the swamps in iowa counties .

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      It should be a crime for most Iowans to vote. Any state that elects a dullard like Terry Branstad, not once, but six times should not be allowed to vote.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Natural gas is cheap and plentiful. Why should we spend money on something that is not needed and more expensive. That is the real special interest. If they want renewable they should pay for it themselves.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 7, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      When is it ever good practice to rely on a single source of anything? If Walmart was the only place to buy household necessities (laundry soap, milk, toilet paper, etc), how would that work out for the consumer in the long run?!?!

      We absolutely, positively, 100% with-out-a-doubt must diversify our energy portfolio.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        July 8, 2017 at 9:27 am

        Bull-If they want to develop it, let them spend their own money, not taxpayers money.

        • Hal Reply Report comment

          July 8, 2017 at 9:50 am

          If you are going to be like that……
          Kind of like you are collecting more in Social Security benefits & Medicaid than you ever put into the system.
          Then spend your own money LVS or perhaps you should think about society as a whole instead just yourself.
          Even your worthless hide deserves treatment as a human being.

          • LVS

            July 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm

            Not true at all. social Security tells me I will never collect everything I put in. I have heard that lie for a long time. Give me back what I put in and the money company;s have matched and I will be a very happy camper. That has nothing to do with this issue and you know it.

          • Hal

            July 9, 2017 at 7:17 am

            You are wrong again as usual LVS, once again blowing smoke out of your ass.

            Every study done by various government agencies & private studies proves that a person of your age will receive anywhere from between 2-4 times what they put into the system.
            Not to mention with your health issues, you are getting way more Medicaid than you ever dreamed of contributing into.
            Face it, by your own statements (society as a whole giving to others is welfare), you are a charity case.

            You always make up lies & attempt to present them as “facts”.

          • LVS

            July 9, 2017 at 9:06 am

            Studies by Democrats, who are proven bullshitters and liars. My information came straight from Social Security. Not from some left wing propaganda site. You are obviously ignorant enough to believe that bullshit. I paid in for over 55 years and paid the max amount for most of those years. When you figure what the employers paid It is more than enough to cover me for the rest of my life. You are just a bull shit liar looking for attention, but still stupid.

          • LVS

            July 9, 2017 at 9:10 am

            And, once again Dumbass (I am typing real slow so you can understand it) your comments have nothing to do with the subject. Watchdog said it perfectly in his comment.

          • Reality Check

            July 9, 2017 at 7:14 pm

            LVS: Do your homework and you will be much more respected on this site.
            According to Social Security……..If a couple had retired in 1980, they would have gotten back almost three times what they put in. And if they had retired in 1960, they would have gotten back more than eight times what they paid in. The ratio is slowly decreasing in recent years but in general you get back more than what you pay in.

          • Anonymous

            July 9, 2017 at 8:32 pm

            He’s the kind of guy who pisses on your leg and then tells you its raining.

          • Anonymous

            July 13, 2017 at 8:57 am

            Relax Hal. LVS types slow because all those words over three or four letters are difficult for him to spell

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          July 8, 2017 at 11:10 am

          We must diversify our energy portfolio. This is not debatable.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          July 8, 2017 at 9:08 pm

          Funny thing about taxes. Those who pay the least, complain the most about them. I’m certain I pay more in taxes than anyone here. And I want alternative sources of energy incentivized because I know it’s the economically sound thing to do in the long run.