Issues on the environment are complex. What is simple is the urgency and commitment needed for our state, nation, and world to address the concerns. We must take real, effective, and comprehensive action now.
Water quality is on the minds of most Iowans. How do we ensure our drinking water is safe and clean for everyone?
We must be committed to reduce nitrates and contaminants in our water sources. One solution is to place a moratorium on factory farms with large numbers of animals in confinement. These large, corporate farms are doing clear harm to our water sources and environment. The state has a responsibility to side with its residents and our need for clean water. The state must provide laws mandating accountability and ensuring oversight.
Energy sources and the impact on our climate are also of concern. How do we move our state to a viable energy system supported by renewable sources and reduce the harm to our environment? We must be future-focused and science-based regarding climate change. We must focus on renewable energy with clear, agreed upon targets and goals.
In 2010, 63 % of Iowans voted to change the Iowa Constitution, adding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. It is based on the concept of sustainable funding for natural resources. Even though the measure passed, the legislature has yet to provide the necessary funding to move the effort forward. In January 2018, the Iowa’s Water Land and Legacy (IWILL) coalition surveyed Iowans. Seven in ten (69%) voters said they support the enactment of the 3/8-cent sales tax to provide revenue for the Trust Fund. The legislature must honor the will of the people and provide a funding stream to move Iowa forward with clean waterways, sustainable agricultural lands, and healthy outdoor opportunities.