New State Plan Aims To Put Iowa on the Cutting Edge of Energy Policy

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PELLA, Iowa -- Iowa is no stranger to energy production.

"We have a dynamic workforce but our low cost of energy is another reason we stay competitive in the state of Iowa."

But Tuesday's announcement at Pella Corporation was a new step in energy policy. Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said, "Ensuring that our state remains in a leadership position in national energy market is vital for the future growth of our state."

Co-chair's Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, Pat Meyer, the CEO of Pella Corporation and the Iowa Partnership on Economic Progress say the new Iowa Energy plan has a four pronged attack to put Iowa in the forefront of energy policy across the country.

"Economic energy resources, economic development & energy careers, transportation & infrastructure, and energy efficiency & conservation," said Lt. Governor Reynolds.

While Iowa now joins 40 other states with a state-wide energy plan, state leaders believe they can offer an innovative look. Reynolds said, "To have two state agencies like the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Department of Transportation coming together to co-lead this, I think speaks to the high level of initiative and we really believe it's the right thing to do."

The group will also hire working groups of ten members each and rely on consultants Batelle Memorial Institute of Ohio and Chicago's Inova Energy Group.

CEO of Pella Corp. Pat Meyer said, "As those are being formed we will be collecting energy supply and demand data, developing future scenarios and researching and reviewing existing policies as well as engaging state agencies."

The $500,000 plan will be funded predominantly through federal dollars. Lt. Governor Reynolds believes it will keep major businesses like Pella rooted in the state and make it desirable for new companies to call Iowa home. "It's important for us to grow, to be competitive, to be innovative and provide jobs for Iowans." said Reynolds.

Applications for the public to serve on the working groups are being accepted through Nov 13.  Five energy forums will be conducted throughout the state for public input before the complete plan is revealed in November of next year.