Press Release

ELPC Joins IPL Earth Day Rally & March to MidAmerican Energy Office to Demand Clean Energy Transition

"MidAmerican can’t be a clean energy leader without retiring its coal plants."

DES MOINES – Iowa Interfaith Power & Light hosted an Earth Day event at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral’s Rain Garden on Earth Day, including a march to MidAmerican Energy’s office, to demand clean energy action from the utility. While publicly touting a 100% renewable energy vision, MidAmerican Energy operates one of the largest coal fleets in the country.

As part of the march to the utility’s office, the group also delivered a letter to MidAmerican Energy CEO Kelcey Brown asking for a true clean energy transition and a conversation. Click here to read a copy of the letter.

“Our ongoing climate crisis is caused in large part by burning fossil fuels. MidAmerican Energy is a major contributor by operating the 16th largest coal fleet in the country,” said Deaconess Irene DeMaris, Executive Director Interfaith Power & Light. “Iowans of faith and conscience are uniting to urge MidAmerican Energy to close their coal plants and support a just energy transition by 2030.”

Speakers at the event included:

  • Deaconess Irene DeMaris, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light
  • Josh Mandelbaum, Environmental Law & Policy Center
  • Marshall James, Iowa Environmental Council
  • Rev. Heather Wachendorf, New Beginnings Christian Church
  • Karin Stein, Moms Clean Air Force

“According to the scripture of the Judeo-Christian traditions, God created the earth and entrusted its care to people. God created the sun and wind which people have harnessed as renewable sources of energy. It is time to make a just and equitable transition to the exclusive use of these limitless resources,” said Rev. Heather Wachendorf, New Beginnings Christian Church. “It is time to completely eliminate the use of finite fossil fuels that are harming creation.  It is time to truly care for creation and take our responsibility for the earth seriously.” 

“MidAmerican can’t be a clean energy leader without retiring its coal plants,” said Josh Mandelbaum, Senior Attorney with ELPC. “Its reliance on uneconomic coal harms public health, and burdens Iowans with excessive costs. Without retiring its coal plants, MidAmerican cannot meet its 100% renewable vision and lead the state’s clean energy transition.”  

In addition, a recent Earth Justice report found that pollution from at least four MidAmerican coal plants in Iowa are leaking toxins such as arsenic and mercury into our groundwater. 

Founded in 2006, Iowa IPL is a part of the national Interfaith Power & Light movement. As a statewide non-profit, Iowa IPL mobilizes people of faith and conscience from all walks of life. Supporters include individuals and religious communities. Learn more at

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