The Iowa Public Interest Group, a consumer and public-health advocacy group, is organizing its environmental issues under a new banner, “Environment Iowa.” Spokesman Nathaniel Baer says they’re calling for a change in where Iowa gets its power. He says while the federal government gives billions in subsidies for fossil-fuel and nuclear power, it’s time for lawmakers to look at more renewable sources.
The group supports shifting some of those subsidies away from Big Oil and into research and development for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and will work with Iowa’s congressional delegation to make it happen. Baer says right now Iowa gets 85-percent of its electricity from coal, ten-percent from nuclear generating, and only five-percent from renewable sources.
Baer says moving away from dependence on fossil fuels will benefit the economy, the environment, and consumers. The group’s calling for Iowa to get 20-percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020. Baer says renewable resources have far more benefits than we’re currently tapping into. He says we could generate up to 17 times the electricity we currently use with renewable energy in Iowa. “There’s a lot of room for growth,” Baer says, “and this growth would help reduce all of those harmful emissions from fossil fuels.” He says it would also create jobs and other consumer benefits.
Baer says investing in wind energy and solar power would not only cut dependence on coal and oil, it would diversify the market and save money from fluctuations in market prices.