The Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club is committed to environmental protection The Chapter applies pressure on political leaders and government decision makers in order to achieve positive changes to protect the environment. Active participation in a democracy ensures our elected officials and decision makers fairly represent the voters and the public interests, not the polluters’ interests.
Members and supporters are involved with influencing decision makers in city, county, state and federal governments. Our work involves the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government. We regularly bring issues to the commissions, boards and stakeholder groups of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Iowa Utilities Board, and the Iowa Department of Economic Development. The Chapter also takes legal action in the state and federal courts to support our environmental initiatives.
The Chapter supports
- Removing corporate personhood from both the United States constitution and Iowa’s constitution
- Ensuring voting rights are protected for all citizens
- Public funding of election campaigns
- Ensuring that the open meetings laws are followed and expanded to include stakeholders groups and subcommittees
- Ensuring that the public has access to public records and that copies are low-cost or free
- Retaining local control of mine siting for silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing
- Ensuring that environmental regulations protect the public, not the polluters
The Chapter has compiled educational information and fact sheets about policies and recommendations for improving government so that it works for all of us.
Tax increment financing (TIF) encourages sprawl by spreading urban areas into the countryside, which destroys farmland, wildlife habitat, and natural areas. Because of sprawl, transportation needs increase, which increases greenhouse gas emissions from cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles. Aside from electricity generation, agriculture and transportation are other big emitters of greenhouse gases.
Protecting voter access to the polls – The Iowa Chapter advocates for policies that allow all citizens to have access to the polls, restore felon voting rights, create early voting opportunities, and provide easy means of registering to vote. See Voting is a Right for All US Citizens
Open Meetings and Open Records -- Letting the Sun Shine In
Ensuring that government committees, subcommittees, and advisory committees are open to the public - Stronger Open Meetings Law
Regulatory Policy and General policy
Regulators provide oversight to ensure that laws and rules are followed. In other words, regulations are yellow lines, stop signs, and speed signs that define the rules and protect the public. Even public agencies can break the law, such as happened with the drinking water issues in Flint, Michigan.
Attorney general opinion on Governor's preclearance for rule-making