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Guest Opinion: Iowa leaders voice support for infrastructure bill

Guest Opinion: Iowa leaders voice support for infrastructure bill

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Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, holds up a pie chart of the distribution of funding in the bipartisan infrastructure bill as he speaks during a question and answer session on public safety with eastern Iowa law enforcement officials in Marion on Sept. 24. Grassley, 88, has announced that he is running for reelection.

To the Iowa Congressional Delegation:

We write in support of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act under consideration in Congress. As leading voices for Iowa’s employers, economic developers and entrepreneurs, we urge the Iowa Congressional Delegation to back this important legislation that stands to set the course for securing an economically sustainable future for generations to come through long overdue investment in our nation’s critical infrastructure. A key element of this legislation is its investment in updating the U.S. energy grid and clearing the way for the renewable energy production that Iowa is already leading on and leveraging to grow our economy.

Iowa has long been a national example of how states can pursue economic growth and a responsible future through renewable energy developments regardless of political leanings. As a state, we have found common ground on renewable energy projects as they create a better future for Iowa communities through additional tax revenue, direct job creation, and continued attraction of business investment driven by our affordable and widely available locally produced clean energy. By embracing renewable energy, we have found a boost for our economies and have secured long-term investments.

This infrastructure bill is the next logical step that will not only help Iowa update its energy grid and meet its growing renewable energy needs, but it will also help bring the rest of the nation on board with renewable energy and keeping good jobs here in the U.S. The success we’ve experienced in Iowa can be expanded to the rest of the country and boost the nation’s economy. We’ve claimed the top spot in the nation for our total share of electricity produced from renewable sources at almost 60%.

Turning to renewable energy is not just about reducing our environmental impact but also ensuring that the U.S. stays a forward-thinking, growth-oriented nation. Investments in renewable energy projects bring job growth and diversified revenue streams straight to our local economies and reduce local government demand for property taxes from business and industry. The infrastructure bill will accelerate clean energy development to begin sooner rather than later, coming at a time when our nation needs every economic boost it can get. The renewable energy sector investments across Iowa delivered an astonishing $21 billion into our local economies, and there is more to come.

We recognize the monumental turning point renewable energy presents as our nation builds a more promising and reliable future. We are ready to embrace the renewable energy future and continue its contributions to prosperity to Iowa.

Thank you for giving every consideration to supporting the infrastructure bill and moving Iowa’s economy and our sustainability forward.

— Drew Kamp, president and CEO, Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce; Chaz Allen, executive director, Iowa Utilities Association; Robin Anderson, president and CEO, Mason City Chamber of Commerce; Rob Denson, president, Des Moines Area Community College; James Hoelscher, president, Professional Developers of Iowa; Doug Hundt, president, Vermeer Corporation; Deb Malek, CEO, United Equipment Accessories; Joe Murphy, executive director, Iowa Business Council; Doug Neumann, executive director, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance; Valerie Newhouse, president, Iowa Lakes Community College; Lori Sunberg, president, Kirkwood Community College; Dusky Terry, president, ITC Midwest and Amy Van Beek, CMO, Ideal Energy.

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