Editor: 

Linn County said yes to solar projects and this is why, according to the CR Gazette:

“According to an economic impact study conducted by Strategic Economic Research, two solar projects (Duane Arnold Solar projects) in Linn County will have a combined positive economic impact of up to $154 million in Linn County. That includes the cumulative ripple effects of new jobs, wages, tax revenue and other economic activity during construction and over the estimated 30-year life of the projects. That kind of local investment can provide an incredible uplift to local businesses and residents.” With Linn County as an example, imagine the impact our proposed solar projects could have on Clinton County.

Economic growth demands new investments in renewable energy in Iowa. Investments by Amazon (seven projects across the State), SSAB steel manufacturing in Muscatine and Facebook (Meta), who has committed to making additional investments in new wind and solar projects in the state, represent over $82 million in local investment and will fuel Iowa’s workforce for years to come.

Economically, Iowa is on the map. We can look forward to new industry, new home grown businesses and new jobs thanks to our reputation as being a leader in renewable energy. The new energy standard for economic growth just that.

My family business prospered selling coal from the turn of the 20th century through the 1960’s which powered farms, factories and rural communities from Linn County through Jones and Clinton County. As a former coal vendor, it’s clear to me that the path forward is through transitioning to renewable energy. Should we ignore our opportunity in favor of continuing coal generation of our electricity or giant wind turbines looming over our countryside? Is Clinton County going to make itself known as a good place to live, work, recreate and invest, or will we face the clean winds of change and say, “not in my backyard”?

Dillon Franks

DeWitt