The Iowa Utilities Board approved the nation's largest wind energy project, which will power 800,000 homes once completed.
Macksburg Wind ProjectMidAmerican Energy
The 2,000-megawatt Wind XI project should be completed by the end of 2019.
"Wind energy helps us keep prices stable and more affordable for customers, provides jobs and economic benefits for communities and the state, and contributes to a cleaner environment for everyone," said Bill Fehrman, the CEO of the utility behind the project.
Bruce Nilles, senior director for Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, agrees. Nilles said in a statement:
"This is an amazing example of how the unstoppable transition towards a 100% clean energy economy is moving faster than many expected. This is a landmark moment not only for the burgeoning wind energy industry in Iowa, a state which already runs on more than one-third wind energy and employs thousands of hard-working Iowans, but for the entire nation, as the largest wind project ever approved in the country. Iowa and MidAmerican's rapid transition from dirty coal to affordable and renewable wind energy offers a clear path for utilities nationwide to make major strides towards 100% clean energy in a way that provides family-supporting jobs and without rate increases.
This also represents a huge leap forward for one of Warren Buffett's three utilities and is a model for how his other two can quickly follow suit, particularly Pacificorp, which operates the largest coal fleet in the West. We still have tremendous work to ensure that this transition keeps moving full speed ahead, but one thing is certain: with announcements like the one today, we aren't ever going back to dirty fossil fuels."
For a deeper dive:
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The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.
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By Governor Jay Inslee
Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.
In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.
Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.