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Friday, February 6, 2009

Iowa lawmakers keep commitment to renewable energy

The Iowa Power Fund and other efforts to promote renewable energy in the state should be largely protected from budget cuts despite a projected shortfall that could top $600 million next year, top Democratic lawmakers said.

But a Republican legislative leader said the fund should face the same scrutiny as other areas of the budget when the Legislature convenes Jan. 12.

Slumping tax revenue already has forced Gov. Chet Culver to order a 1.5 percent across-the-board cut in state spending for the fiscal year that ends June 30. In addition, the governor has ordered $180 million in cuts for the current year.

Democrats who lead the Legislature said they face big challenges as they deal with the economic crisis, but efforts to encourage and develop renewable sources of energy in Iowa are too important to cut deeply. continue reading...

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