New Hampshire audiences have been asking Governor Tom Vilsack about wind turbines and other energy-related issues this week. Kevin Conroy drove from nearby Massachusetts to catch one of Vilsack’s speeches.
“I took a look at the governor’s resume and bio and two things stuck out for me,” Conroy says. “One is that he had developed a lot of sustainable energy in Iowa — the largest wind farm in the country. Obviously, New England is facing some deep energy challenges and I think that’s something that people are going to find here pretty appealing about the governor — that he’s really tackled some energy issues.”
As Vilsack was introduced to one crowd, there was an audible hum that ran through the audience when that wind farm — a private-sector enterprise — was mentioned. After Vilsack spoke for about 20 minutes, the first question from the crowd was about wind energy.
Vilsack says he had expected to field those kind of questions. Vilsack says New Englanders are facing a host of energy issues, and most don’t realize Iowa’s not only generating electricity from the nation’s largest wind farm, Iowa’s also the largest ethanol-producing state.
In addition, Vilsack tells audiences that Iowa’s one of the few states where new generating plants are being constructed. Vilsack credits changes in state regulations for that extra generating capacity in Iowa. The governor says now, as a potential presidential candidate, he can point to those accomplishments and say “this is what we did” to address the nation’s energy dilemma.