Iowa Senate Bill Would Trample on Local Government Rights to Regulate Energy Production

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Wind turbine near children's playgroundA bill was recommended for passage by an Iowa Senate subcommittee yesterday that if signed into law, would strip local government of the power to make decisions about energy policy and production.

You can’t make this stuff up folks. Just six days after the Iowa House voted to approve allowing a Gadsden Flag license plate with the famous coiled snake and “Don’t tread on me,” phrase? A senate subcommittee has quietly voted in favor of a bill that does exactly that. Like a herd of stampeding wild horses, if signed into law, senate bill SF-411 would trample all over the rights of local government to make decisions about energy policy in their communities and transfer that power to the state. Among other things, senate bill SF-411:

“prohibits a county or city from adopting an ordinance, motion, resolution, or amendment that limits consumer access to an energy source or that results in the de facto prohibition of the sale or production of an energy source or the related infrastructure necessary to provide consumer access to a specific energy source within the jurisdiction of the county or city.” (emphasis mine.)

The bill might seem harmless enough. On the surface, it might even seem to protect the consumer. But make no mistake: This is yet another attempt at a power grab by big government to strip local governments of their power and turn it over to the state. Can there be any doubt that big energy companies had a hand in this bill, or that it’s a demonstration of crony capitalism at work? Can there be any doubt that if this bill passes, NextEra will use the part about prohibiting the sale or production of an energy resource as a foot in the door to try to ram their wind turbines down our throats despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Buchanan County has made it abundantly clear we don’t want them?

Please contact your local representatives and senator and tell them to vote NO on senate bill SF-411. Don’t tread on us indeed!

Everyone in Iowa who is concerned about maintaining local government authority should contact their local representatives and senator. Those of you in Buchanan County can contact your local representatives and senator here:


Name Email Phone
Chad Ingels 515-281-3221
Craig Johnson 515-281-3221


Name Email Phone
Dan Zumbach 515-281-3371

The full text of the bill is available here: Iowa Senate Bill SF-411

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I'm a freelance writer who has published multiple technical books on computer programming, software engineering, and UNIX administration. I'm also a long time resident of rural Buchanan County who owns and takes care of rescue horses. I am interested in preserving our rural farm land for the future of both our children and our animals.

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