Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s 2016 State of the State Address, Renewable Energy Excerpts

Source: BY Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, State of the State Address • Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

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“We must prioritize policies on industries that are poised to grow like bio-renewable chemicals.

A state bio-renewable tax credit, which is revenue neutral, will create more high-quality jobs, building on our state’s leadership in renewable energy.

I know we can do this because we’ve already done it by becoming the nation’s leader in renewable energy.

In the 1980’s, Iowa began investing in renewable energies like ethanol, biodiesel and wind.

We were the first state to implement a renewable electric standard which I signed it into law in 1983.

At the time, we were almost entirely dependent on coal for electricity and foreign oil for motor fuel.

But look at us today:

We produce significantly more ethanol than we consume in gasoline which offers consumers more choices at the pump.

We are the leading biodiesel producing state in the nation.

We are seeing significant investments in other technologies like cellulosic ethanol; with two new plants in Emmetsburg and Nevada.

Today wind generates nearly 30% of Iowa’s electric generation; more than any other state in the country.

And solar power generation is a growing and attractive renewable resource that an increasing number of Iowans are utilizing.

All of these accomplishments show the growing diversity in Iowa’s economy.

But we must keep looking to the future, working to understand our needs and pushing for more renewable, reliable, and low-cost clean energy to meet our needs.

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds is chairing our statewide effort—and working with the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress–to develop a State Energy Plan.

This plan will include input from the public, the business community and a variety of state and federal partners and help us set our priorities for the future.

It includes an assessment of current and future energy capacities that will benefit the state and outline clear goals and strategies to keep energy costs low and facilitate economic development.

Companies who have invested and located in Iowa have cited our low cost of energy and growing use of renewables as major reasons for locating here.

Iowa could be the first state in the nation to meet 40% of our energy needs from wind power by 2020; far ahead of any other state.

The extension of the Federal Wind Energy Tax Credit will also help us grow wind investments and jobs in Iowa.

Our leadership in green energy not only makes us a leader in renewables but also powers job growth.

Every wind turbine you see while driving across our state means income for farmers, revenue for local governments and jobs for Iowa families.

Let’s build on that foundation for a greener Iowa future.”