National Wildlife leader says Keystone XL pipeline is not a solution and would hurt Iowa’s economy
DES MOINES – State Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids) announced today that new data compiled by the Legislative Services Agency shows that energy costs for all Iowans soared to $13.8 billion in 2011.
“Energy—motor fuels, electricity and natural gas—cost Iowans more than $4,500 per person in 2011,” Hogg said at a press conference at Gray’s Lake Park in Des Moines. “This is killing our economy. It is not sustainable economically or environmentally.”
In 1998, energy cost Iowans a total of $5.4 billion, or less than $2,000 per person. By 2005, that number had grown to $10.2 billion, and in 2011 it climbed to $13.8 billion—a growth rate of 7.5 percent per year over 13 years. Although electricity and natural gas prices have increased too, the largest cost increase has been from motor fuels, which have grown from $2.2 billion to $8.3 billion—nearly 11 percent per year. A chart showing the increase is attached.
“Iowans can successfully reduce energy costs if we recognize the problem and take actions within our control,” Hogg said. “Hoping that oil companies will solve this problem with dirty, expensive foreign oil will not work. We need a new state energy policy. We need Iowans to focus on renewable energy, energy conservation, energy efficiency, land use and transportation alternatives—all things within our control as Iowans to cut costs.”
Hogg was joined at the press conference by Jeremy Symons, Senior Vice President for Conservation and Education for the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest conservation organization with more than four million members and supporters.
“The proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Port Arthur, Texas, is not a solution to Iowa’s energy costs,” Symons said. “Oil companies would actually drive up energy costs in Iowa and across the Midwest by using the pipeline to bypass Midwest refineries and taking the oil to the Gulf of Mexico so they can export it. The Keystone XL pipeline is a dangerous detour away from the homegrown renewable energy we should be investing in today for a better future.”
Symons is visiting Iowa as the keynote speaker for I-RENEW’s 20th Anniversary Renewable Energy Expo at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. The Expo runs from June 8 through June 10. For more details, visit www.irenew.org.