Dear Fellow Iowan,
Today, Wednesday, April 22nd marks the 39th annual Earth Day, and the Green Generation is this year's global theme.
Iowans have been leaders in the green revolution since its beginning. Nationally, our state ranks second-highest in wind energy capacity. Iowa currently has the infrastructure to generate 2,790 million watts of wind energy, an amount second only to that of Texas. Since, according to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy, wind could be providing 20 percent of our nation's energy by 2030, Iowa will undoubtedly play a central role in America's energy future. Our state is also at the epicenter of today's biofuels boom, with producers beginning to use not just corn but also cornstalks, woodchips, and switchgrass as sources of clean, renewable energy.
My colleagues and I in the 111th Congress, in cooperation with the Obama Administration, are working to help move the nation toward energy independence. Freedom from foreign oil won't only reduce our nation's carbon footprint - it will improve our national security and contribute to long-lasting economic prosperity. To aid in this effort, I am sponsoring H.R. 864, the Renewable Fuel Pipeline Act, which would help facilitate the transport of ethanol fuel from its production centers in the Midwest and Great Plains regions to population centers on the East and West Coasts. The construction of renewable fuel pipelines would further the green energy movement and create thousands of well-paying, non-exportable jobs.
This Earth Day, take some time to appreciate our planet with family and friends. There are many events planned throughout Iowa, including the Second Annual Earth Day Trash Bash. This event, organized by Operation Downtown, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, and the Downtown Community Alliance, will bring together businesses and community organizations to clean up litter that has accumulated on our streetscapes and trails over the winter. At Easter Lake Park, Thomas Mitchell Park, and Fort Des Moines Park, volunteers can give back to the Earth by helping to remove invasive plant species that are degrading the local habitat. Also, the Des Moines Botanical & Environmental Center is offering free admission on Earth Day.
I encourage you to look into Earth Day events in your community - but even if there aren't any organized events, you can find countless ways to celebrate at home with your family. You can plant a tree or some vegetables in your backyard, resolve to recycle more, or join a carpool. Maybe you can purchase some compact fluorescent light bulbs, or decide to unplug appliances you're not using. However you choose to celebrate, consider making a small change that you can keep up for the rest of the year. Iowans know better than anyone that Earth day really is every day.
Leonard L. Boswell
Member of Congress