Innovative energy provides jobs for Iowans

Guest Column
Tod Bowman
Iowa State Senator, 29th Dist.

     Creating more jobs for Iowans is a priority we all can get behind. Improving and developing our energy resources offers great potential to do just that.

     Our universities and community colleges have done a good job of meeting the needs of businesses and utilities that are moving to renewable energy production and manufacturing. We need to make sure they can continue to help Iowans get the skills needed to fill the energy sector’s in-demand jobs.

     Iowa has made great strides over the last few years to produce more of our own energy. As a result:

     • Wind and solar support more than 7,000 Iowa jobs and nearly 300 businesses. Ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels provide thousands more jobs, as well as markets for Iowa farmers to sell their crops.

     • Wind energy produced more than 31 percent of Iowa’s electricity as of 2015. We lead the nation in electricity from wind and produce some of the highest levels in the world.

     • Seven of the top 10 programs at our community colleges provide education and training for the energy sector, and many offer specialized degree programs.

     The payoff is good for Iowans’ pocketbooks too. For example, Iowa’s electric rates have decreased since the wind industry took off and are lower than the nation as a whole, according to the Iowa Policy Project.

     However, there’s more to be done. As we prepare for the 2018 legislative session, I look forward to taking bold, bipartisan steps toward a vibrant, clean and secure energy future. Iowa’s economy—especially in our smaller towns and rural areas—will benefit.

     To contact Senator Bowman when the Legislature is in session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at 563-370-2422. E-mail him at


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