The democrat who’s running for Iowa’s fourth district congressional seat says it’s time to act to ensure the nation becomes more energy efficient. Paul Johnson of Decorah, a former state legislator and federal official in the U-S-D-A, says “it’s time we stopped talking and start doing.” Johnson says he’s never met a politician who didn’t talk about the need for greater reliance on renewable fuels and greater efforts to improve energy efficiency, but Johnson says “as a country, we really need to set some standards and go there.” Johnson supports federal rules that would force car manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency.Johnson says “there are…better experts than I am on the exact numbers, but the point is we’ve got to set a flag out there on the horizon and we’ve got to go towards it.” Johnson says America’s good at setting goals and achieving them — just like we did when President Kennedy declared the U-S would send a man to the moon. Johnson also supports efforts that would require electric utilities to use more “renewable” energy — like wind power. He says it’s “realistic” to set a goal of having 25 percent of electric power in the U.S. be from a “renewable” source like the wind by 2020. Johnson’s republican opponent, Congressman Tom Latham, has supported the energy bill which cleared the House but has stalled in the Senate. Johnson calls the bill “weak.” Johnson says the bill doesn’t set any national standards, and focuses “on poking another 60-thousand holes in the west and wherever we can, trying to get those last (natural gas) vapors out of the ground.” Johnson toured a “biomass” energy facility near Nevada this morning where several presidential candidates, including President Bush and John Edwards, have campaigned as well.
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