Sinking the Santa Maria

Dear Friends, [Please come to the trial for Emma Schmit and Mahmud Fitil, pipeline fighters arrested last fall for blocking construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline during Bold Iowa‘s Farmers Defense Camp. For more detail, check out this excellent video by Rodger Routh. We’ve been asked not to wear pipeline shirts in the courtroom.] I’ve never understood why Christopher Columbus was given a holiday. [Listen to Donnielle Wanatee on this week’s Forum.] I get why we celebrate the impressive lives of men (yeah, they’re all men, but Continue reading →

Illinois Supreme Court gets it right on eminent domain

Dear Friends, As the battle against the Dakota Access pipeline moves from countryside to courtroom, from protest to litigation, pipeline opponents in Iowa have yet another reason to be optimistic. Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against Rock Island Clean Line (RICL) — the Texas company proposing a 500-mile wind transmission line across Iowa and Illinois. The Court ruled unanimously that RICL is not a public utility and does not have the right to use eminent domain. Click here to read the entire ruling. Continue reading →

Fleeing Irma

Dear Friends, Sometimes I just wanna scream. (OK, sometimes I do, though never loud enough to wake the neighbors or chickens.) HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE DO WE NEED!!? (Caps, bold, italics and underline intended) Consistent with what climate scientists have forecast: * Storms are getting stronger — never before have two Category 4 hurricanes hit the U.S. in the same year. * Unprecedented wildfires continue to rage in ten Western states, with 21,000 firefighters working to contain them. * Heck, there was even a large wildfire Continue reading →

National Call to #StopETP

Dear Friends, I’m so excited about my new flock of chickens! Over the past two months, they’ve made solid progress toward becoming fully enrolled members of the Des Moines Society of Colorful Egg Layers. Like an overly protective parent, I worry about them when I leave town. But fortunately, I have two wonderful friends, Emily and Johanna, who mind them in my absence. (Emily, Johanna, in terms of chicken sitters, you’re the best!) On the other end of the chicken-sitter spectrum is Mr. Fox. If my only option were to put Continue reading →

Another Pipeline??

Dear Friends, This week, two Boone County landowners contacted me when they noticed a large amount of pipe arriving at the staging area used last year to stockpile materials for the Dakota Access pipeline. Ever suspicious of Dakota Access’ activities and motives, folks in Boone County were rightfully on guard. So, I dug into it a bit. I contacted officials with both the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). I learned that the pipe is for the Northern Natural Gas (NNG) Continue reading →