Not that long ago, the idea of mayors getting together to talk about Iowa's future as an energy producer would have been considered laughably absurd.
But nobody will be laughing as Iowa mayors gather for the Energy Futures Conference to be held June 15-16 in Des Moines. Although Iowa has no fossil fuels to speak of, it is increasingly expanding production of other types of energy, cleaner renewable energy.
Right here in Cherokee County, ethanol is produced from corn and wind is converted into electricity. Soon, biodiesel fuel will be produced in the county using locally grown crops with boilers fired from palletized trash.
Across the state, similar efforts are putting Iowa in a leadership position in developing renewable energy.
At the conference, mayors will discuss strategies to improve Iowa's energy industry, and results will be shared with cities across the country in September, officials said. The Iowa mayors are also expected to sign the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which about 500 other mayors across the nation are expected to sign.
This is an effort that Iowans can take pride in.