A report by an Iowa environmental advocacy group says an investment in clean energy and transportation should be the cornerstone of the national economic recovery plan. Andrew Hug, a spokesperson for Environment Iowa, spoke at a news conference held in a downtown Des Moines building that’s being retro-fitted with energy-saving equipment. Hug says Iowa stands to benefit from such projects.
"This kind of work, if it were to be extended and expanded via the stimulus package funding, would put quite a number of Iowans to work and really benefit Iowa in that it reduces all the demand for energy that all these buildings cause," Hug said. He’s hoping stimulus dollars will be directed at new and old buildings.
"If we build a whole lot of new buildings that are all real energy efficient, that’s terrific and we need to do that, but it’s really important that we go back and fix the buildings that have been built for the last hundred years – because there’s so many of them," Hug said. "Unless these new energy-efficient buildings replace the old buildings, the energy demand really doesn’t go down."
The report "Clean Energy-Bright Future" estimates environmental benefits of 150-billion dollars in clean energy. Hug says the stimulus package money could especially help Iowa’s already booming wind energy industry. In addition, Hug says investing in "green" energy will move America away from its dependence on oil and coal.