Iowa has become a leader in the alternative fuels industry, doing far more than our share to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Using corn, the state can pump out 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol a year to fuel cars and trucks. Additionally, our state has been a major player in the evolution of energy production from wind. Roughly 20 percent of Iowa's electricity is currently produced by the state's wind farms.
But residents of the Hawkeye State are practical-minded people who understand the necessity of an "all of the above" energy policy for the nation. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president, has pledged to pursue just such a strategy.
Romney wants to increase U.S. production of oil and natural gas - and make better use of clean coal technology. Two-thirds of Iowa's residents rely on power from coal-fired generating stations. That has helped keep electricity prices low, at an average of 7.88 cents per kilowatt hour.
President Barack Obama, on the other hand, has made no secret of his desire to cut back drastically on coal-fired power plants. Utility companies throughout the nation already have announced plans to close dozens of such generating stations. It appears Obama would prefer Iowa and other states to turn away from coal and to "alternative" sources of electricity.
Californians have done that already. Only about 1 percent of that state's electricity is generated from coal. The average price of power in California is 13.59 cents per kilowatt hour.
Iowans already have embraced alternative energy - but are practical enough to understand clean coal needs to remain part of the mix. Romney recognizes that, too, and should be elected president to pursue a true "all of the above" energy policy.