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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jul 29, 2010

One of our staff members just returned from a trip to the West Coast, and among the most remarkable things he saw was the impact Iowa is making nationally in the area of renewable energy.

For starters, only two states between here and the West Coast – Iowa and South Dakota – offer E-10 ethanol for less than regular unleaded gasoline. Other states actually charge more for E-10 than for regular unleaded. The reason, of course, is that Iowa and South Dakota state governments subsidize ethanol production through tax credits.

Interestingly, other states that tout themselves as being ‘green’ – namely Washington, Oregon and California – actually charge more for E-10 than for regular unleaded gasoline.

If these states were truly green, they would take the lead from Iowa and South Dakota – the truly green states – and offer the same tax incentives.

On another note, every person our staffer spoke with on the West Coast had seen the Duracell television ad featuring Iowa Lakes Community College. Again, this is another example of how Iowa is at the epicenter of renewable energy development.

In yet another area, many people on the West Coast spoke of ethanol production from corn stover as though it were some scientific, futuristic enterprise. When our staffer informed the people out there that the process is ready to begin production this fall at the Poet plant in Emmetsburg, he was met by blank, disbelieving stares.

Once considered a forgotten cousin, Iowa and South Dakota have taken the lead in renewable energy. We are so far ahead of the game that the rest of the country stands in awe of us.

And they should. As people struggle worldwide to deal with problems associated with traditional forms of energy – cleaning up oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and military conflicts exacerbated by our unquenchable thirst for foreign oil – we are finding the ultimate solution to our energy needs right here in Iowa.

So lets give ourselves a nice, big pat on the back.