The Iowa Senate has voted to approve the so-called "Power Fund" that will spend 100-Million dollars to promote the renewable fuel industry over the next four years. The fund would be used to invest in research designed to lead to more wind, solar and bio-mass production. Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says the power fund will ensure that Iowa stays a leader in renewable fuels.
Hogg says this fund will allow the state to reduce it’s dependence on foreign oil, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and stop the flow of dollars out of the state. Hogg says the fund will bring a lot of benefit to the state. Hogg says, "I think this is a historic start of an energy transition in this state that generations of Iowans in the future will look back on and say, ‘you did the right thing, you stood up for our children and our grandchildren so our state would thrive and prosper in the future.’"
The power fund was first proposed by Governor Culver on the campaign trail. Some Republicans oppose the fund saying it promises too much to too many. Senator Larry McKibben, a Republican from Marshalltown, says the Power Fund is smaller version of the 500-million dollar Grow Iowa Values fund. McKibben says, "This is one of those feel good drop in the bucket bills, a grab bag political idea that was developed during a campaign, and now Iowa’s taxpayers get to pay for another piece of foolishness."
McKibben calls the program the "idea of a political spinmeister" that’s "Grow Iowa Values fund Light." Seven Republicans joined the Democrats in supporting the power fund. The bill now goes to the Iowa House.