Senate Confirms New Members to IUB

by Brian Wilson
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The Iowa Senate has confirmed two new members to the state board that will decide whether proposed carbon pipelines get built in Iowa. Attorney Erik Helland, a former Republican member of the state legislature, was confirmed to serve as chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board on a 39-to-11 vote. Republican Senator Jason Schultz of Schleswig says after two terms in the Iowa House, Helland worked in Alaska’s state government.

Some Democrats like Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames say Helland doesn’t have the right qualifications to be on the utilities board.

In a separate vote, all 50 Senators supported  confirming Sarah Martz, the director of engineering for utilities on the Iowa State University campus, to the Iowa Utilities Board. Senator Waylon Brown, a Republican from St. Ansgar, says Martz has degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Quirmbach says Martz has superb qualifications.

The other member of the board is former state Representative Joshua Byrnes, the former general manager of Osage Municipal Utilities. 

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