Exposing Bright Future Iowa’s Deception and Lies

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Magnifying class in front of wind turbine field with book under it.Bright Future Iowa’s latest “survey” shows just how underhanded and deceptive their tactics are and how they take us for nothing more than simple country fools.

It has come to our attention that in the last few days, some local landowners and farmers have been getting text messages from Swati Dandekar, Chairperson of Bright Future Iowa (an organization funded by NextEra). Here is the text of the message in full:

Hi ***** – Swati here, from Bright Future Iowa. We’re taking a quick survey: Do you agree it’s a farmer’s right to use their land as they see fit, including the right to lease for wind or solar use with reasonable protection for neighbors?

Reply 1 for Yes, 2 for No and 3 for Not Sure


Again, this survey is only being sent to some people, and it would appear that Bright Future attempted to conduct it in secret (which, as you will see later, is routine practice for them).

There are, of course, several things that can go wrong with surveys and statistical analysis of surveys, and this survey, as Ms. Dandekar calls it, can produce no valid results because it suffers from many of those things that can go wrong.

The first is that the survey question is overly broad. What is “reasonable protection” for neighbors? The survey question doesn’t specify. Almost everyone is an agreement, though, that with today’s nearly 600 foot tall turbines, 1,600 foot setbacks are not reasonable protection. A detached blade can travel significantly farther than 1,600 feet on modern wind turbines.

But a second and bigger problem is sample bias (which there are mathematical ways to detect when doing the statistical analysis for a survey). Normally, sample bias creeps into a dataset by accident, typically for one of two reasons:

  • Insufficient sample size: The dataset simply isn’t large enough to do statistical analysis on and get any meaningful results. A basic analogy would be if you flip a coin 4 times and try to analyze the percentage of times you get heads vs. tails. The dataset is so small that there’s a high likelihood it will be falsely biased one way or the other.
  • Insufficiently randomized sample: This usually happens because of poorly chosen methodology in selecting the survey participants. This is a specific type of sample bias called selection bias. Basically, unless every member of a population (local residents in this case) has an equal chance of being selected to receive the survey, there will be selection bias, and therefore sample bias.

When it comes to the insufficiently randomized sample, we can only come to one of two conclusions about Bright Future. (1) They know nothing about statistics. (2) They are intentionally biasing the sample by cherry picking the survey participants in order to make the survey results show what they want them to show (in formal logic, this is called fallacy of incomplete evidence).

If number 2 is true — and it seems likely that it is based on the secrecy with which Bright Future is trying to conduct this survey and the limited number of people who are receiving it — then not only is it very underhanded and deceptive, but the results of the survey will be biased and utterly meaningless. Though, once again, it seems as if Bright Future’s very goal here is to intentionally introduce sample bias so they can get the results they want from the survey.

But wait, it gets better (or worse). Another text message also recently spread among some farmers that claims to be from other local farmers. It’s a canned message we’ve also managed to get a hold of and do some research on. Here is the full text of the message:

Hi ***** — I’m reaching out because it’s urgent. As a farmer I’m insulted that a proposal to take rights away from property owners is nearing initial approval next Wednesday. The P&Z Commission will consider a change in our ordinance that redefines PERSONAL property as COMMUNITY property. My name is *****, and I think everyone in the county needs to be alarmed by this government overreach.

Write to your Supervisors and tell them to vote no. You can do that here:

The text ends with a link that takes you to a hidden form on the web where you can fill in your name and it will spam the Board of Supervisors with a canned email message.

There are several problems here. First, the above text message was not even written by local farmers. Rather, we have very strong reason to believe it was written by Bright Future. It is not even being sent by local farmers from their own phones. It is being sent from an automated text message server. The canned email spam being sent to the Board of Supervisors was also written by Bright Future.

But the biggest problem? The claim the text message makes is an outright and complete LIE. It’s not even a half-truth, a twisting or distortion of the truth, or a deception. It is an outright LIE. At no time has the P&Z Commission ever even discussed redefining personal property as community property. And it most certainly is NOT in the proposed changes to the ordinance. The proposed changes to the ordinance are publicly posted for all to see. No where does it propose redefining personal property as community property. The Buchanan County Comprehensive Plan does state that “It is recognized that the establishment of policies regulating the use of land is a community issue” (page 53, Comprehensive Plan), but that has been in place since 2006. The P&Z has proposed absolutely nothing that would change something that has already been in place for 18 years.

NextEra keeps telling us how well they work with the community. Really? They’ve done nothing but feed us lies, withhold information from us, try to go behind our backs by doing things in secret, and try to deceive us by hiding behind various front organizations such as Bright Future. They even tried to deceive the P&Z by tricking them into believing that one of their front organizations was an Iowa state government agency! (It isn’t. It’s a private group 100% funded by NextEra).

If this is how NextEra, Bright Future, and NextEra’s other puppet groups behave now before we have even let them in, how do you think they will behave once they are in and have 30 year unbreakable contracts with the option to extend them for decades.

Sorry, NextEra, Bright Future, and Iowa Center for Infrastructure & Economic Development, but we aren’t the dumb country hicks you think we are. We see through your underhanded tactics, your deceptions, and yes, your outright lies.

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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.

6 thoughts on “Exposing Bright Future Iowa’s Deception and Lies

  1. Thank you for writing this article! Swati comes to all of our Clinton County public meetings regarding MET towers and wind turbines. I had no idea Bright Future Iowa is FUNDED by NextEra. I have emailed all our Supervisors, County Attorney and P& Z Director. This is not right!

    1. It’s amazing how much we don’t know until we start digging. The fact that Bright Future Iowa is funded by NextEra is now on Bright Future’s website, but it was not in the beginning. I hope you also read the “Transparency Please” article https://bucoa.org/2024/04/07/transparency-please/ about another organization that is funded by NextEra. Our Board of Supervisors, entire P&Z Commission, along with an extremely large audience of county citizens, were all lead to believe we were listening to a representative of the State of Iowa. We were wrong. Being prepared for these tactics has become imperative. We wish you the best of luck in your struggle to preserve your land.

  2. They (Nextera and then Alliant) snuck around Linn County in 2018 and managed to get a nuclear power plant closed 15 years early while the ratepayers puck up that tab then turn around and ask the IUB for funds to build solar. Bright Future cheering them on. Why am I not surprised who funds them.

    1. Funny how fast that closing happened, isn’t it. And, I agree … they walked off with the money and left us with the bills. Our Alliant rates keep going up and up and up. Where is all this cheap green energy going? It certainly isn’t coming to my house. NextEra representatives have told us that it goes directly into the grid and they have no control where it ends up. Wonder if Chicago’s rates are dropping. And, Bright Future wouldn’t exist if not for NextEra. They are the only supporter listed on the Bright Future website, so I’m assuming they are the sole funder. It would be nice if everyone was open and honest about their funding, but that hasn’t been the case. The great majority of Iowans are not stupid, and we really don’t like being deceived. The company who claims that they work with communities lost the chance to gain any trust from our community from the very beginning.

    2. Now let’s add that when they shut down the Duane Arnold Nuke Plant at Palo, 700 plus jobs were shut down for the next 15 years as well; and NextEra brags about the pitiful number of jobs they create during the short term of the construction project. Many of those jobs, by the way, coming from out of state sources. You will also see in another article on this website where they use the cost of building renewable energy as the excuse for raising our rates.

  3. These are the ones who told the P&Z that they did not want anyone knowing they were here until they got contracts signed. Interestingly, the people of Madison County, Iowa have recently discovered that a Florida company (could that be you, NextEra?) is seeking easements for a commercial solar plant without following the county ordinance’s public notice requirement. They were notified of the violation and sent a copy of the ordinance. So, that leaves you with two options: They didn’t bother to check any ordinances that were in place; or, they just didn’t care about ordinances and went about their business on the sly anyway. Or tried to. But word eventually gets out and people start to take notice. Even those of us in the country don’t like being taken advantage of or being lied to, perhaps even more than some others. I wish Madison County well.

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