Governor Chet Culver says he’ll talk with President Obama today about getting more federal money to boost the wind energy industry in Iowa. Today, just after noon, Obama will visit a plant in Newton that makes the towers for wind turbines and Culver plans to press for improving the power grid.
"Iowa is a natural place to start when we’re talking about investing in our grid given the fact that we’re number two in the nation in wind (power) generation," Culver says. "This whole region of the country obviously could contribute in a very positive way to a more secure energy future if we could start exporting that wind power."
Culver also plans to make a pitch on flood relief. "We need, literally, hundreds of millions more from HUD and the secretary at HUD, Secretary Donovan, will be making a decision in the very near future about how much Iowa is going to receive of the billions that’s not been allocated there," Culver says. "There’s about $3.9 billion that they have to allocate, so I’ll certainly put in a plug for that as well."
The president is scheduled to arrive in Des Moines shortly before noon. He’s scheduled to speak to an invitation-only crowd in Newton at about one o’clock, after he tours a portion of the former Maytag plant where washers and dryers were once made. About 140 people now work at the retooled site, making the enormous towers for wind turbines.