Legislative policy should look to the future not maintain the status quo. By its very nature, the legislature should take lessons from the past and make plans for a more secure future. The Iowa Senate missed a prime opportunity this legislative session by not taking action to approve a proposal that would have aided in the planning for a secure energy future by allowing increased nuclear power generation as a fundamental building block of Iowa's baseload energy plan. The successful passage of this legislation could have paved the way towards energy independence. By not enacting this legislation, we have placed ourselves in a position of being forced to rely on out of state entities to generate more of our energy for us. Make no mistake; we will pay a higher price for this reliance on others.
Iowa's electric cooperatives supported this legislation all along and have been vocal in our support because nuclear energy is vital to Iowa's successful economic future. Electric cooperatives are not newcomers to the energy debate and remain supporters of nuclear energy with a clear understanding and commitment to the principle of "concern for community" with a long record of concern about the potential rate impacts to our member-owners. We live in these communities and pay electric bills, too.
Iowa needs additional 24/7 electric baseload energy to support growth in our economy. That's something we should be able to all agree on. Increased nuclear energy, as part of an overall balanced renewable energy package, could have contributed to reliable, affordable, safe and environmentally responsible energy for the future for our member-owners, small businesses, agribusiness and other partners of the economic development engine in rural Iowa.
The challenge of meeting the needs of future baseload energy still remains unanswered and unresolved. Iowa's electric cooperatives will continue to be committed to finding sensible, responsible solutions that prepare us for our future.
(signed) Terry L. Bruns, CPA
President/Chief Executive Officer