Guest Columnist

Keep focus on energy plan

Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announces the state-wide Iowa Energy Plan during a news conference under the Rotunda at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. The plan sets priorities and provides guidance or Iowa's energy future. Fifteen objectives and 45 strategies are outlined in the 100-plus page report. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announces the state-wide Iowa Energy Plan during a news conference under the Rotunda at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. The plan sets priorities and provides guidance or Iowa's energy future. Fifteen objectives and 45 strategies are outlined in the 100-plus page report. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
/

I was disappointed to see the Gazette reach premature and inaccurate conclusions about the Iowa Energy Center in its March 10 editorial, “Warnings of Iowa energy-related conflicts come to fruition.” Ultimately, I think we share many of the same goals, including a commitment to maintain our state’s energy leadership.

The Iowa Energy Plan, released in December 2016 by then-Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, in partnership with Iowa Economic Development Authority and Department of Transportation, was a significant, collaborative undertaking. The plan brings the best thinking from across state agencies, environmental groups, private industry and public interests together into one road map for the future. The Iowa Energy Plan should and does guide our state-funded efforts, including the Iowa Energy Center’s purpose.

If the plan is the roadmap to our future success, the center is one of the vehicles driving us toward energy economic development. The center is overseen by a governor-appointed board with representation from academia, state government and the utilities. This is the same representation as before IEDA assumed administrative management in October 2017, but now the center board has full authority to fulfill its mission. Importantly, board meetings are open to the public and the center is required to report annually to the legislature.

The Iowa Energy Plan was the beginning, not the end, of stakeholder engagement in Iowa’s energy policy. The Biomass Conversion Action Committee and soon-to-be-formed Energy Storage Committee are just a few examples of direct stakeholder participation in implementing the energy plan.

I encourage anyone who is interested in the future of Iowa’s energy policy to focus less on the location of the energy center and more on implementing the energy plan. Let’s all take ownership for being informed about, and engaged in, the important work that needs to be done.

We value and operate with transparency at IEDA. I welcome diverse input and collaboration because that is how we will ensure Iowa’s energy leadership into the future.

• Debi Durham is director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Want to join the conversation?

Consider subscribing to TheGazette.com and participate in discussing the important issues to our community with other Gazette subscribers.

Already a Gazette or TheGazette.com subscriber? Just login here with your account email and password.

MORE Guest Columnist ARTICLES TO READ NEXT ...

Most Iowans can agree that people shouldn't have to stay in jail just because they aren't rich. Yet that is the way our bail and bond system sometimes works. Whether you have to stay in jail too often depends on your ability to pa ...

You cannot rise if you have not fallen. To rise above and beyond the bottomless pit requires a dream team. Metaphorically, my dream team is equivalent to what the Los Angeles Lakers had in 2004. It takes a strong support group to ...

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.