Environmental groups brought a New Yorker to Des Moines Monday to speak at a statehouse forum, but not a single legislator showed up. Tom Sanzillo, an energy analyst for a New York-based consulting firm, argues Iowa legislators should adopt stricter environmental standards for Iowa’s utility companies.
"The energy efficiency programs that are currently being run by the state’s utilities have been successful and they need to be invested in more aggressively in order to be more successful," Sanzillo said. "We see it in other states around the country. We see the same kinds of investments. As energy becomes more expensive, it becomes more viable and that’s increasingly true here."
Last year the state of Minnesota passed a law stipulating that by 2025, 25 percent of all the energy produced in Minnesota must come from renewable sources like wind, solar, biomass. Sanzillo believes Iowa should do the same.
"The Iowa Utility Board has asked for a more aggressive energy conservation plan. I think the utilities are concerned that they can’t meet it," Sanzillo said. "I think the legislature and the governor, working together and setting firm standards, can help everybody make their targets." Sanzillo was the "expert witness" the group "Plains Justice" brought in earlier this year to testify against a coal-fired power plant in Marshalltown.