Iowa Stepping Up on Energy Independence

Bill Scher

After the Apollo Summit, I noted that “America’s governors have begun to throw down over who can become the most energy independent and bring in the most jobs.”

Looks like Iowa is joining the fray. From the Des Moines Register:

Iowa lawmakers are trying to put together the pieces for an ambitious plan to help Iowa fully wean itself off foreign oil by 2025, possibly becoming the first state to do so.

“The biomass capabilities of Iowa’s soil are the best in the world, and the wind that blows in our state is the best in the world,” Rep. Nathan Reichert, a Democrat from Muscatine, said Tuesday. “When you have those two resources, you just need to add a sprinkling of very bright, highly trained people, and we should have a pretty good opportunity.”

Lawmakers want to set up an 11-member advisory council to create, by a December deadline, a statewide energy independence plan. They also want to authorize the Department of Economic Development to spend $100 million over four years on renewable power industries and research.

This is key legislation for Gov. Chet Culver and legislative leaders, who hope to trigger a new growth spurt in Iowa’s wind, solar and biofuel industries.

Culver has predicted that the proposed $100 million for the so-called Iowa Power Fund will attract three times as much money from private investment in renewable and alternative energy industries in Iowa.

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