Corn stalks, silos, and ….turbines?

Timlynn Babitsky | Benefits & Support,Stepping up | Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

by Timlynn Babitsky
The political caucuses brought Iowa to the attention of the election-focused media. But did you know that this traditional Middle America landscape has become the poster child for green agendas? “Iowa now ranks third in the nation in wind energy production,” says Governor Chet Culver. “When combined with our leadership in ethanol and biodiesel production, Iowa is the nation’s undisputed renewable energy leader…”

 Nationwide, Iowa ranks #1 in ethanol production, #2 in biodiesel production and #3 in wind energy production. And according to a December 2007 State webpage, in 2006, Iowa alone accounted for over 30 percent of US ethanol production and 25 percent of US biodiesel production. And, today, there are over 1,000 wind turbines creating nearly 1,000 megawatts of energy.

So what gives in Iowa?

What gives is the new $100 million renewable energy research and development initiative called the Iowa Power Fund (May 2007). The goal of the Power Fund is to invest in cutting edge research and development that is required in the new energy economy. This will create the jobs of the future and work to wean ourselves off foreign oil.

The Iowa Power Fund:

  • Establishes the Office of Energy Independence.
  • Establishes an Iowa Energy Independence Plan
  • Establishes an Energy Efficiency Study

“Today, I believe, is the time for Iowa to take the lead in the race to become the energy capital of the world,” said Governor Culver. “The Power Fund is an exciting, forward-thinking plan that will coordinate our efforts as we explore our new energy frontier. By signing the Power Fund into law, we can create the jobs of the future in Iowa that will keep our kids at home where they belong.”

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