Strong Action Needed in Iowa to Cut Energy Use

Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley is being strongly urged by his top energy advisor to take aggressive steps to cut energy consumption, and the state should create a multimillion-dollar fund to give homeowners an array of incentives to use less power.

The blueprint, to be released by the Maryland Energy Administration, will offer 20 proposals to help O'Malley (D) deliver on his ambitious pledge to reduce the state's energy consumption by 15 percent in seven years and stave off rolling blackouts that experts predict could occur in three years.

The report recommends that the state encourage the fledgling solar and wind energy industries to invest in the region and help Maryland more than double its use of renewable power.

Iowa Governor Chet Culver has been a proponent of renewable energy, creating the Iowa Power Fund, the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, and saying he wants Iowa to become the renewable energy capital of the world.

Culver has made a goal for Iowa to produce enough wind energy by 2015 to power 500,000 homes and cut carbon emissions by more than 7 billion tons per year. It seems that a program like the one in Maryland would help Culver and Iowans reach this goal.

Instead there are plans to build coal-fired power plants in Marshalltown and Waterloo that would emit more carbon into the air.

If Culver was serious about making Iowa into the renewable energy capital, one would think he would be stressing cutting energy use.

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