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Vander Plaats promotes an "Iowa Brand" of energy

January 25, 2006

Contact: Kristi Dusenbery
(712) 540-6776

CLINTON, IA - “Iowa leads the world in corn and soybean production. We are a world leader in wind energy and have excellent biomass resource potential,” Bob Vander Plaats said today in Clinton. “We should be marketing these natural gifts as an ‘Iowa Brand’ of energy and positioning our state as the leading source of renewable energy in the world.”

Vander Plaats, Republican candidate for governor, released his renewable energy plan to leaders of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce today, calling for them to join him promoting an “Iowa Brand” of energy.

Vander Plaats’ proposal includes:

• “85 for 85” Flex-fuel Initiative: Registration fees for all new E85 or biodiesel vehicles sold in Iowa would be set at $85 per year for the first three years. In conjunction with this initiative, the Ag exemption for pickup trucks would be removed. Pickups purchased prior to the enacting date, however, would continue receiving a discounted registration fee of $85 per year.

• State Fleet Conversion: All new vehicles purchased by the state would be E85 or biodiesel compatible.

• “Common Sense” Regulations: Vander Plaats will work with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to ensure a productive partnership with the renewable energy industry, maximizing the sale and use of E85 and biodiesel while meeting safety concerns.

• Aggressive Marketing and Promotion: As the state’s chief executive, Vander Plaats will work with state leaders and the renewable energy industry to actively promote an “Iowa Brand” of energy to businesses and governments worldwide.

Vander Plaats denounced proposals to mandate the use of ethanol in Iowa calling them, “an easy political answer that puts trust in bigger government rather than putting trust in the people and the product.”

Vander Plaats says, “A good marketing strategy will cultivates genuine passion for the product and puts matters in the hands of Iowans.”

“This is only a beginning,” Vander Plaats concluded, “The opportunities available to Iowa’s renewable energy industry are endless and we must not settle for mediocrity. Iowa has great potential to market flex-fuels, biomass, wind and geothermal energies and promoting an ‘Iowa Brand' of energy simply makes good sense for our economy.”

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