Meeting Notes

February 2020 Meeting Notes

Iowa City Climate Advocates, 2/8/20 Meeting

People present: Miriam Kashia, Char Lange, Conner Hanke, Barbara Eckstein, Dawn Pawlowski, Brandon Jennings, Silvia Quezada, Bill Panther, Briana Hoffman, Joe Sarb (visiting from Moxie Solar), Elsa Janle, Mark Madsen, Jennifer Luria, Jerry Denning, Del Holland, Peter Rolnick, Jim Throgmorton, Jamie McCoy, Daniel Livorsi, John Macatee, Theresa Greenfield (candidate for Senate), Sam (with Theresa).

We participated in the CCL Monthly call and heard from Bob Inglis, founder of RepublicEn and member of the CCL Board. Bob gave some advice for communicating to conservative members of Congress: Remind them that CCL is not anti-capitalist, nor is it anti-corporation. Point out that staunch conservative economists like Art Laffer say we should price carbon.

Mark Reynolds, executive director of CCL, told about the great work we’ve been doing in 2019: 568 chapters worldwide, 460 in the US, presence in Europe and Africa growing rapidly, 181,421 supporters, 71,000 of them new, 30 editorial board meetings, 3,354 letters to the editor, 20 editorials, 568 op-eds. Our chapter contributed to many of those numbers!

Next month’s speaker will be someone who is a climate change trainer at museums and zoos!

Theresa Greenfield, candidate for US Senate in Iowa, spoke to us about her candidacy, and wanted to hear from us about our concerns, including HR 763, which she was not familiar with but was eager to learn more about. Brandon gave a good elevator speech about it. Theresa said that net farm income is down 75% since 2013. She also said concern about the climate, and a wish for action on climate, comes up everywhere she goes whether she is in a red or blue portion of the state. (Aside: Senator Ernst has been invited to attend one of our meetings.)

Joe Sarb, who works with Moxie Solar, told us a little about what they do. He gave the exciting news that, perhaps in a few years, Moxie would be making their own solar panels!

We did a communication exercise in which people asked each other open-ended questions about climate, listened to the response, then reflected back what they thought they heard.

Miriam suggested a CCL Media Rapid Response Team, to support letters to the editor, op-eds and press release publication for our local, regional media. Many people signed up to be on the team:

Mark, Dawn, Brandon, Jamie and Del. We need someone to step up and take the lead of this group.

People signed up for areas they want to work in:

Barbara: UN-USA liaison
Briana: help with data entry and other computer work
Jennifer: post on the blog at Hope Springs clinic where she works
Bill, Del and Sylvia: tabling (Sylvia has agreed to coordinate tabling efforts with John)

NEXT MEETING: Saturday, March 14
140 Prairie Hill Ln, Iowa City (in the Prairie Hill Common House, Lower Level)
11:30 – noon: social time,
noon – 12:40: CCL Monthly Call,
12:40 – 1:30: meeting and discussion

January 2020 Meeting Notes

ICCA Monthly Meeting, 1/18/20

People present: Del Holland, Miriam Kashia, Jamie McCoy, Jerry Denning, Briana Hoffman, Elsa Janle, Brandon Jennings, Dawn Pawlowski, Peter Rolnick (notetaker)

  • Miriam told us about the Climate Crisis Parade in Des Moines on Saturday, February 1, which is now co-sponsored by 63 different organizations. It is a four-block parade, followed by some presentations. The purpose is to focus on the media, encouraging them to give the climate crisis the on-going attention warranted. It starts at noon at Cowles Commons. Those in the Iowa City area wishing to ride on one of the two buses chartered by 100 Grannies for a Livable World should contact Miriam Kashia (miriam.kashia@gmail.com).
  • We did a communication exercise in which groups of two read then discussed a laser talk (for example: What is the connection between climate change and forest fires?), with one person taking the role of defender of what is in the laser talk and the other taking the role of skeptic.
  • It was suggested the the link to EnRoads Climate Simulator (which came up in discussion) should be shared with all chapter members. Here it is: https://en-roads.climateinteractive.org/scenario.html?v=2.7.6.
  • We also talked about Carbon Footprint calculators. Here are some websites that do that:
  • Related to carbon footprints, here is CCL’s Carbon Dividend Calculator:
  • We talked in some detail about how CCL structures itself around 5 levers for developing political will: Lobbying, Grasstops, Grassroots, Media, Chapter Development. We each talked about what we felt we were good at, what we were not so good it, what we liked to do, and what we didn’t like to do. Each of us will think about what kinds of tasks we’d like to help with (lobbying, tabling, writing a letter to the editor, etc.) and whether or not we’d like to take on a role such as “Grassroots Team Leader.” Currently, Jamie is “Grasstops Team Leader,” and Dawn is our “Social Media Team Leader.” Karin is stepping down from being “Tabling Team Leader,” so we need a new person to take on that role.
  • Peter discussed the statewide effort to give presentations/have meetings in counties throughout Iowa in 2020. This is called “99 Counties for Climate Change.” There is a statewide task force, headed by Jackie Armstrong from way up near the Minnesota border in central Iowa, and leader of the University of Northern Iowa Chapter of CCL. The task force needs two things from us.
    • A list of people who are willing to do presentations with their name, address, phone number and email address. A PowerPoint template is available for presenters to use, along with encouragement if needed. Brandon, Jamie, Jerry, Del, Dawn and Peter all agreed to be presenters. Peter will make the PowerPoint presentation and related documents available. Brianna, Elsa and Miriam would also like access to the presentation, and Peter will do that.
    • A list of organizations in our county and in neighboring counties with the name of a contact person and their phone number, address and email address, that may be contacted with our offer to provide programming for one of their meetings. A few suggestions were made, and people are following up on getting contact person/phone/address/email for each of those suggestions. If anyone things of anything, especially in counties beyond Johnson and Linn, send the info to Peter.
  • Our next meeting will be Saturday, February 8th, 11:30 – noon social time, noon – 12:40 CCL Monthly Call, 12:40 to 1:30 general meeting. Someone (Brandon?) suggested that Theresa Greenfield will come to our next meeting. Theresa is a Democratic candidate for the 2020 US Senate race. If she wins the primary she will run against Republican Joni Ernst. It was suggested that, if Theresa does come to our meeting, we should invite Senator Ernst and any Democrats running against Theresa to also come to one of our meetings.

December 2019 Meeting Notes

Iowa City Chapter of CCL / Iowa City Climate Advocates

December 2019 Meeting Notes

 

We watched the CCL national video conference with guest speaker, Dr Wu, who was involved with meetings at the Vatican with several CEOs of oil companies and other influential companies. The goal was to help the CEOs recognize they are elders of the human community, and the outcome was two signed agreements by the CEOs, one of which was about carbon pricing in a way that leads to a rapid transition to a low carbon economy. The Pope has also spoken in favor of a just transition to a low-carbon economy, and supports carbon pricing as long as it’s constructed in a way that results in real carbon reduction.

 

CCL HQ is asking to support the year-end donation drive, they are about half-way to their goal. Mark Reynolds also wants us to thank our families for supporting us in the work we do volunteering for CCL and climate change.

 

Two representatives from Verv Auto spoke about their new electric vehicle dealership based in North Liberty (it’s an offshoot of Moxie Solar) and their presentation generated many questions and interest from the attendees. An informal poll revealed about 20% of attendees use vehicles that are at least partially electric.

 

Two students from the University of Iowa attended and informed us that they are part of the founding group of students starting a CCL chapter at the UI ( yay!!!!!).

 

Marcia Mosher reported that the 100 Grannies are supporting the student climate strikers and organizing for the Climate Crisis Parade in Des Moines on Feb 1. They are trying to provide a bus to help people get to Des Moines.

 

Jamie McCoy relayed the following: 

  1. Noted the IC Council resolution which hopefully can stimulate more resolutions.  Asked if any one in Coralville, University Heights, Solon, North Liberty, Cedar Rapids, would want to share the IC resolution with their local government and pursue a resolution.

 

  1. Noted my Blog piece with Audubon which Doug Harr is  passing on to the Minnesota and upper Mississippi Valley office and Great Lakes office in hopes of broader collaboration with Audubon.

 

  1. Noted shift in tactics with ISETA focusing on collaboration: demonstrating our ability to get their legislative requests to a receptive audience.

 

  1. Recent contact with John Borman, CEO of IWEA with his suggestion to approach TPI composites in Newton and Vestas Wind in Iowa Falls as powerful and possibly receptive potential allies.  Requested anyone with contacts in those companies to contact me. 

 

Earth Day 2020 is the 50th anniversary and is only 4 months away. If someone is interested in doing something special for this Earth Day let me know ASAP. We have also been invited to table and participate in the Park and Rec’s Earth Fest which occurs around Earth Day.

 

I relayed some ideas on seeds for letters to the editor (The Perfect Gift… is an endorsement of the Energy Innovation Act, or talking about climate change over the holidays, New Year’s Resolution… resolve to take climate action this year, resolve to talk about climate change once a week).

 

October 2019 Meeting Notes

Sorry for the gap in meeting notes posted here, we’ve been having regular meetings, I’ve just forgotten to post the notes here!

October 2019 Meeting Notes

 

Attendees: Char Lange, Eric Johnson, Briana Hoffman, Elsa Janle, Peter Rolnick, Dan Livorsi, Rob Hogg, Gerry Denning, Jim Throgmorton, Haley Dansby, Del Holland, Miriam Kashia, Dawn Pawlowski, Silvia Quezada, John Macatee, Barabara Eckstein, Craig Mosher, Marcia Foster, Dianne Dillon-Ridgley

 

CCL Web Conference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03ezLLDYmOs)

  • Alexander Posner & Kiera O’Brien (Students for Carbon Dividends)
    • Does “retail messaging” which means tailoring how you talk about carbon dividends to the audience you’re speaking to
    • Lead with values, not policy details
    • Talk to Republicans about reclaiming the long legacy of environmentalism 
      • Teddy Rosevelt with the National Parks, 
      • Nixon with the EPA
      • Bush with Acid Rain
    • Climate action is inevitable at this point, you need to have a seat at the table
    • A carbon price is the most powerful tool in the toolbox, so if you care about climate justice, you should care about pricing carbon
    • Students for Carbon Dividends support the plan proposed by the Climate Leadership Council
  • CCL News
    • 49,000+ new members so far this year (that puts us above 150k members by my count)
    • 48 of 50 states have some entity endorsing the bill
    • 53 municipal resolutions (representing 14 million people)
    • 2580 letters to the editor in 2019
    • 421 op-eds in 2019
    • Another bipartisan climate change bill, the Market Choice Act
    • 3500 economists signed a letter saying a carbon price is the way to go
      • Most economists ever to agree on something/sign a letter
    • Congressional Lobby Day in November
      • Still openings
      • 575 registrants so far
    • 20% of congressional meetings involved the member of Congress using the phrase “make climate change a bridge issue, not a wedge issue”
  • Rob Hogg
    • We need to stay inclusive on climate change
    • Rob is hosting the largest faith-based climate action event
      • 9am – noon, 
    • Rob Hogg has hosted 15 presidential candidates so far to talk about climate change
    • We in Iowa have a responsibility to talk to the candidates about climate change
      • We have a unique position in the political process that we have to take advantage of
    • Talk to the Republican presidential candidates too
    • Meet with Rita Hart and the other candidates too, 
    • Miller-Meeks has Fairfield in her district so she could use climate change in her campaign to great effect
  • Peter Rolnick, State of Iowa CCL Coordinator
    • Grasstops is key statewide
      • Iowa Soybean Association has been mentioned as a great opportunity
      • Local Farm Bureau office too (Grassley listens to Farm Bureau a lot)
    • Iowa State Legislature
      • Iowa Supreme Court said the Iowa Legislature should put a price on carbon in one of their rulings
        • We could help develop a bill for regional carbon pricing in the midwest
        • Another option would be to tax energy companies above a certain size
        • Could use proceeds to fund electric car infrastructure
        • Fund “Energy Districts”
        • Or we could just ask the legislature to endorse the Energy Innovation Act
    • State CCL Meeting in Ames on Dec 7
      • Jim Bolter will speak
        • Just published large report on Iowa climate future via the Iowa Policy Project
        • ISU person will also speak on biofuels to inform us how they fit into a transition and their current effect on net GHGs
  • We went around and stated what we’re planning to work on over the next month
    • Those without an action drew an action from a brown paper bag
    • One of the new attendees drew “Making cookies for Rep Loebsack”

May 2019 Meeting Notes

May 2019 Meeting Notes

CCL Video Conference Call
On the Monthly Call we were told that we (nationally) had 386 in-district lobby meetings, 67 op-eds and 1818 outreach events, all bigger than the same time period last year. They showed a short climate video that we could put on our website. (It is located at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2512762532091000.) Carlos Curberlo was the guest speaker.
Actions mentioned were
1) Have our group make lobby meeting plans to pass on to our lobbyists going to DC in June,
2) Have people call MoCs on June 5th (all the Grand Canyon calls for next month be on June 5th, as Mark suggested), and have people tweet our MoCs on June 11th.

Rest of the Meeting
The rest of the meeting was spent talking with Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) Chair Geri Huser, her “handler” Anna Hyatt, Representative Mary Mascher and Senator Joe Bolkcom.

We didn’t get to the “Announcements” part of the agenda.

A few notes I made:
The IUB doesn’t make policy, they just impliment it.
The general topic was how to charge electric utility customers for grid support and maintenence.

Subtopics:
For-profit versus publically-owned utilities
Customers with solar panels versus customers without solar panels
Flat-fee versus per kW-hr
An example: For the Des Moines water utility they charge a flat fee of ~ $13/residential customer, ~ $200/commercial customer

There is a pilot program in place for Alliant but I can’t remember its details. Geri says everyone on all sides hates it so they must of done it correctly!

There is already a law requiring the allowance of net metering. Perhaps the Alliant pilot program is contrary to that law?

There should be a state study of the costs to grid support of residential and commercial solar.

The demand for such a study must come from the state legislature.
Geri suggested that there needed to be philosophical changes to our current legislation having to do with electric utilities to address the many issues we brought up. She didn’t provide specifics, or if she did I didn’t understand them.

Marc Franke joined us even though he is a member of the Cedar Rapids chapter, and he was a great addition. He pointed out that residential solar actually makes it less expensive for the utilities to provide power effectively to all its customers, so it is not clear why there should be an extra “grid support” charge for customers with solar panels.

People were complaining about utilities stalling when customers installed solar. Geri pointed out that the UIB investigates complaints, so we should file a complaint when something like that happens.

Other states regulate their utilities in a variety of ways. The IUB has opportunities to learn about those other ways.

I presented a graphic (from the REMI study) to show how a revenue-neutral price on carbon would dramatically increase wind energy and decrease coal in our part of the country. This would be really good economically for Iowa. Geri or Marc mentioned that we have tremendous untapped wind potential in Iowa. John suggested that the graphic be shared with all our members. Here it is (WNC stands for West North Central Region):