Iowa among 17 states coming together for new energy accord

Wind turbines on a snow covered field in Iowa. (Michael Leland/Flickr)
Wind turbines on a snow covered field in Iowa. (Michael Leland/Flickr)
Nick Fetty | February 17, 2016

Iowa governor Terry Branstad on Tuesday joined governors from 16 other states in a commitment to cleaner energy and transportation as well as building a better electrical grid.

The Governor’s Accord for a New Energy Future “is a bipartisan initiative that helps states capture clean energy opportunities across the country and tackle growing energy challenges.” The three-page accord outlines six categories for improving the United States’s energy future: (1) diversification of energy generation and expansion of clean energy sources, (2) modernization of energy infrastructure, (3) emphasis on clean transportation options, (4) planning for an energy transition, (5) cooperation among states for transformational policy changes, and (6) an effort to secure a stronger national energy future.

Each of the 17 governors issued a statement on how their state will fit into the plan. Branstad focused on the commitment Iowa has already made to wind energy and renewable fuel.

“Iowa is proud to be the nation’s leader in renewable energy. We are first in the nation in terms of the production of ethanol and biodiesel. We generate nearly 30% of our energy from wind, and 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. And Iowa is a growing market for solar production. Our leadership in green energy not only makes us a leader in renewables but also powers job growth for many Iowa families. We will continue to pursue policies that will build on the foundation we have already for an even greener Iowa future.”

Thirteen of the governors who signed the accord are democrats while four are republicans, including Branstad.

The states involved in the effort make up 40 percent of the country’s population.

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