The economic cost of MidAmerican's coal
Continuing to burn coal at MidAmerican’s outdated coal plants is costing Iowans millions of dollars. A recent study found that clean energy is cheaper than coal, and other utility companies have proactively decided to close their coal plants and save their customers money. But instead of harvesting more of Iowa’s natural resources like the sun, MidAmerican is using our money to import fossil fuel resources from other states, leading to unpredictable prices on our electric bills.
MidAmerican's coal plants are also causing serious harm to our agriculture industry. More than two-thirds of Iowa counties experience annual corn production losses ranging from 66 to 350 million bushels due to the continued operation of the MidAmerican coal plants, costing Iowa businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. Coal kills corn, and MidAmerican's corporate greed is hurting Iowa farms and the 315,000 people they employ in our state.
The health cost of MidAmerican's coal
Every year, pollution from MidAmerican's coal plants results in 90 premature deaths and increases our collective health care costs by more than $140 million.
MidAmerican's decision to continue burning coal across Iowa is having serious health impacts, particularly in communities that live near the plants. In fact, living near coal-fired power plants is linked to higher rates of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and premature death.
MidAmerican's coal pollution is in the water, too. Coal ash ponds seep into the ground, and now MidAmerican wants to dump contaminated water directly into the Missouri River. Iowa families are shouldering all of the dangers of breathing coal pollution, while MidAmerican's out-of-state investors rake in the profits. Their reckless decision to put profits ahead of our health is killing us.
The climate cost of MidAmerican's coal
The consequences of climate change are dire, including drought, extreme weather, and more. Here in Iowa, we saw firsthand what the future may look like if we don't take serious steps to mitigate climate change. In 2020, a "derecho" left more than 400,000 people without power, destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars of crops, and led to billions of dollars of damages.
But instead of taking decisive action to protect Iowa's future, MidAmerican is refusing to make the commonsense decision to shut down these dangerous coal plants. Iowa hasn't even had an active coal mine in nearly 30 years, which means MidAmerican is using our money to pay out-of-state companies to mine coal in places like Wyoming and Montana. The coal is then shipped to Iowa on freight trains, adding to the climate costs.