Science & Technology
Thank Congress for Extending the Renewable Energy Tax Credits PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Chris Chwastyk   
Monday, 04 February 2013 15:20
Business is picking up in the wind industry now that Congress has extended the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC).  We encourage you to take a moment to write to your legislators and thank them for extending the renewable energy tax credits.

Among the positive announcements that have been made since January 2, when President Obama signed the legislation extending the tax credits into law, are the following: 
  • Wind project development company First Wind announced that they are projecting a 50 percent growth in business over the coming year, which translates to another 500 megawatts of wind projects.  “That will mean jobs and investment, and consumers will be getting clean energy at a competitive price,” CEO Paul Gaynor told the Boston Business Journal.

  • Wind project development company Midwest Wind Energy announced that they are moving forward with construction of their 75 megawatt wind project in Nebraska.  “There are several business decisions that play into the schedule (turbine purchasing, sale of the asset to equity, etc.) but the PTC was the last remaining stumbling block,” Director of Development Tom Swierczewski told the Kearney Hub.

  • Carbon fiber manufacturer Zoltek announced that the PTC extension will help the company keep up the momentum from its high-performing year in 2012.  “This is definitely helpful because investors were holding back on projects to see what would happen,” Chairman and CEO Zsolt Rumy told the St. Louis Business Journal.
We have been very pleased to see these news stories, and many others about wind projects that are ready to be built, and manufacturing orders that are ready to be placed.  Please click here to make sure that your legislators hear about these positive developments in the wind energy industry!

Thanks again for your tireless efforts last year to urge your legislators to extend the wind energy tax credits.  We hope you are glad to see that your efforts are paying off.

Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Ranked Fourth State Nationally in Green Building Survey PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 31 January 2013 14:31

New Study Lauds Governor’s Commitment to Sustainability Across Illinois

CHICAGO – January 30, 2013. Governor Quinn today announced that Illinois has become a national leader in “green building,” according to a study released by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), which ranked the state fourth out of 50 states in new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications. The group cited the governor’s commitment to making Illinois a healthier place to live, play, work and grow.

“Since the day I took office I have been committed to making sure Illinois is the most environmentally-friendly state in the country,” Governor Quinn said. “I’m proud to have the U.S. Green Building Council recognize the success of our efforts to make sure sustainable practices are implemented in homes, schools and businesses throughout Illinois.”

“Illinois has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable-built environment within a generation,” Jason Hartke, USGBC vice-president of Advocacy and Policy said. “I applaud the extraordinary leadership of those in Illinois – designers, architects, chapter advocates, public officials, everyday citizens – who are working to create the healthiest possible environment for people to work, live and play in.”

The annual study ranks states based on the amount of LEED-certified space per capita. With 140 million square feet of LEED-certified space, Illinois certified 1.94 square feet per resident - behind only the states of Virginia, Colorado and Massachusetts.

Illinois certified 156 LEED projects in 2012, including the Chicago Center for Green Technology, Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Champaign, G&W Electric Company in Bolingbrook and Rush University Medical Center. The USGBC also lauded the KONE Centre in Moline, the first Illinois project to earn Platinum rating.

“We are so proud of our state’s achievements in green building,” Katie Kaluzny, interim executive director, USGBC Illinois Chapter said. “We look forward to continued partnerships with state and local leaders to advance sustainable building and communities across Illinois.”

Throughout his career in public service, Governor Quinn has been an advocate for green building in Illinois. In 2009, Quinn fought for and signed Illinois’ first capital construction plan in more than decade. The Illinois Jobs Now! plan requires all new state-funded building construction projects to seek a minimum LEED Silver certification, and all major renovations of existing state-owned facilities to seek LEED certification.

The Illinois Capital Development Board currently has nearly 50 projects slated to meet LEED certification, including projects at the University of Illinois and College of Lake County in Grayslake which are expected to earn the highest rating (“Platinum”).

Governor Quinn has also signed numerous Executive Orders and statutes into law to ensure greater energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, and protection of Illinois’ land, air and water resources. For more information about Governor Quinn’s sustainability initiatives, please visit


Pleasant Valley High School Wins Iowa High School Science Bowl and Spot in National Finals PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 16:33

Obama Administration Highlights Importance of Investing in Next Generation of Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Fields

Washington D.C. – Building on President Obama’s efforts to help more students excel in math and science and his call for investments in a skilled American workforce, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that Pleasant Valley High School from Bettendorf, IA, won the Iowa High School Science Bowl on Saturday. Pleasant Valley High School competed against 40 other teams from across the state in one of the nation’s regional competitions of the 23rd Annual U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl, and is now eligible to compete in the National Finals in Washington, D.C., at the end of April. The National Science Bowl brings together thousands of middle and high school students from across the country to compete on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, astronomy, and math.

“Congratulations to the students at Pleasant Valley High School for their achievements in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Energy Secretary Chu. “Providing opportunities like the National Science Bowl to challenge today’s students is an essential part of keeping America competitive in a rapidly advancing world.”

"Iowa is home to some of the most dedicated and brightest students, and I'm proud that Pleasant Valley High School students have once again demonstrated why Iowa is a leader in innovation," said Congressman Loebsack. "They demonstrated their knowledge of and the value of STEM learning, which will open up doors for them to secure good jobs and help make them our country's future leaders. I want to extend my congratulations to the team from Pleasant Valley High School and wish them luck in the National Science Bowl Finals."

The Department of Energy (DOE) created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. More than 200,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl throughout its 22 year history, and it is the nation’s largest science competition.

Over the next several months, more than 9,000 high school students and 5,000 middle school students will compete in 69 high school and 49 middle school regional Science Bowl tournaments.  Students, in teams of four or five, compete in a fast-paced Jeopardy-style format where they solve technical problems and answer questions in all branches of science and math.  Most teams are coached by teachers from the students’ schools and spend several months preparing for the regional competitions.  Many states have one regional or statewide Science Bowl competition, while larger states, such as California and Texas, hold several regional competitions across their states.

Students from Pleasant Valley High School will be awarded an all-expense paid trip to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., which are scheduled for April 25-29, 2013. The regional tournaments, which host 15-50 teams, are sponsored by federal agencies, national laboratories, institutions of education, and non-profit organizations.

DOE’s Office of Science manages the competition. More information about these events is available on the National Science Bowl website:


Google’s free Wi-Fi network up and running in Council Bluffs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Robert Haus   
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 14:18

Additional grant of $50,000 expands access in Council Bluffs

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Jan. 29, 2013 — Google announced an additional $50,000 grant today to expand the free high-speed wireless Internet network for the city. Once completed, the free Wi-Fi network will be extended to cover the new River's Edge Park and the interior of City Hall. The Wi-Fi network currently provides free internet access to: Downtown Council Bluffs and 100 Broadway District, Mid America Center and Council Bluffs Recreational Complex. Once users agree to the terms of service, they may surf the internet freely.

“Google has been a wonderful corporate partner for our community and this project is just one of the ways Google continues to demonstrate their commitment to be part of our community,” stated Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan. “We are very fortunate to have them in our city, and we look forward to continuing our partnership that will help make Council Bluffs a better place to live and work.”

Google financed the construction of the initial Wi-Fi network through a $154,462 grant (Council Bluffs incurred no charges). The additional grant of $50,000 will finance the expansion efforts to be completed in 2013. The grant will purchase the network equipment and pay for three years of Internet service. After three years, the equipment will be owned and operated by the City of Council Bluffs.

Congressman Tom Latham (IA-3) stated, "Google has a history of making valuable investments in the Third District, and this grant will increase the access that the residents and businesses of Council Bluffs have to a service that is increasingly integral to our daily lives. Widespread Internet access is a crucial component of commerce and job growth in any modern city, and I thank Google for helping make Council Bluffs an even better place to do business."

“Google is a big advocate of the power of the Internet and we feel privileged to bring this free service to the businesses and residents of Council Bluffs," said Chris Russell, operations manager for Google's Council Bluffs data center. "We believe cutting edge technology and Internet access is crucial to developing business, creating jobs, and thriving in the 21st century. The free Wi-Fi network helps Council Bluffs' residents to do just that.”

Wi-Fi is a mechanism for wirelessly connecting electronic devices via nodes that are located throughout a certain area. A device enabled with Wi-Fi, such as a personal computer, smartphone, tablet, video game console or digital audio player, can connect to the Internet via a wireless network access point.

About Google Inc.

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world.

Google is a trademark of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.


Loebsack Praises “Future Leaders of Tomorrow” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Saturday, 26 January 2013 10:29

Davenport students take part in phone call with astronauts aboard the International Space Station

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after students from the Davenport School District participated in a telephone call with astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station.  The call was hosted at the Putnam Museum’s National Geographic Giant Screen Theater in Davenport.  


“I am very proud that our students had such a fantastic opportunity to take what they have learned about in the classroom and interact with those who are experiencing it firsthand.  Iowa is home to some of the most dedicated and brightest students, and I’m grateful that NASA recognized this as well. The folks at the Putnam Museum again demonstrated why they are one of the leading museums for learning and opening our kids’ eyes up to the opportunities ahead of them. The chance for our students to engage with NASA astronauts demonstrates the value of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning and the opportunities we can embrace to create the jobs of the future right here in Iowa.”


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