An environmental advocacy group plans to expand in the Midwest. The Environmental Law and Policy Center, based in Chicago, wants to open branch offices in Des Moines, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Howard Lerner, the group’s president, says they want to help push wind power and other renewable energies.
Lerner says, “As things have ramped up, we are serious about getting wind power and other clean renewable energy developed, the turbines spinning, clean energy going into the power markets and producing economic benefits for farmers, ranchers and the rural economy.” Lerner says they focus most of their efforts on renewable energy projects.
He says: “The Environmental Law and Policy Center has been deeply involved in helping to create, develop and then implement the clean energy sections of the federal farm bill, starting back in 2002. Over the last five years, we’ve been on the ground around the Great Plains and the Midwest making the farm bill sections work.” He says they focus primarily on five states — Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and North and South Dakota. Lerner says they plan to have several people stationed in each of the two new offices.
He says: “The offices in the Dakotas and Des Moines will have a combination of agricultural economists, government relations people, attorneys who understand clean energy issues, and some technical people who know how to work the energy system and who understand agricultural energy policy issues.” Lerner says they hope to have the offices opened by the end of the year. The center was founded in 1993 to look for cleaner energy alternatives.