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Kim Reynolds: 'Not my place' to critique Trump's claim linking wind turbines, cancer

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Iowa Capitol Building

The Iowa Capitol in Des Moines is shown in a June 2018 file photo.

A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest for Wednesday:

BLOWING IN THE WIND: Gov. Kim Reynolds sidestepped reporters’ attempts Wednesday to comment on claims made by President Donald Trump that noise from wind turbines can cause cancer.

Reynolds touted wind energy as a key component of Iowa’s green energy portfolio that continues to attract advanced manufacturing and companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft with low-cost energy.

“I’m focused on the benefits that it brings. We’re proud of it,” the Iowa governor said.

Asked by a reporter if the president is wrong on his cancer contention, Reynolds said “that’s not my place” (to say).”

“You know how those things change — one year coffee is good for you, the next year coffee causes cancer. I mean that’s just what happens.”

During a fundraising dinner Tuesday, Trump was quoted as saying “Hillary wanted to put up wind. Wind!” — referring to the energy policies of his 2016 Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton. “If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value. And they say the noise causes cancer. You tell me that one, OK?”

UTILITY DISCLOSURE: A proposal to require landlords to tell prospective tenants about the utility costs of rental property has been set aside after a House Commerce subcommittee heard mostly negative reviews.

Lobbyists for landlords, utility companies and real estate brokers said the intent of SF 549, which was approved 47-1 by the Senate, is “noble,” but impractical and of questionable value to renters.

The bill would require landlords of 12-plexes or larger rental properties to disclose average annual costs for utility service for dwelling units in the rental property with the same number of bedrooms for the previous year.

Lobbyists said one tenant’s utility use might not be the same as a tenant with more family members or more energy-consuming devices.

Keith Denner of West Des Moines, a property manager and landlord, said it would encourage energy-efficiency.

“There are some things to work on,” said Commerce Committee Chairman Gary Carlson, R-Muscatine. He does not intend to take it up in full committee, meaning it is dead for this year.

WEIGHT-LOSS REFUND: An Eastern Iowa chiropractor who marketed a deceptive weight-loss plan is among those who have agreed to make refunds to Iowans who bought NutriMost, Attorney General Tom Miller announced.

The chiropractors sold NutriMost, which promised that customers would lose “20 to 40+ pounds in 40 days” through “technology to turn on fat burning and turn off fat storing!” The ads deceptively omit the fact that the NutriMost plan consists primarily of a low-calorie diet of 500 to 800 calories per day, the attorney general said.

The agreements cover Bradley Cook, a chiropractor who operated NutriMost of Iowa in Marengo and Cedar Rapids, who agreed to pay $50,000; and Emmett Blahnik, a Madison, Wis., chiropractor who operated Next Level Weight Loss in West Des Moines. He agreed to pay $30,000.

The Attorney General’s Office will make refunds available to the affected consumers.

—Journal Des Moines Bureau

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