Des Moines Register 05-27-07 Grassroots: Iowa joins 12-state energy consortium The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa State University have joined the North Central Bioeconomy Consortium, a 12-state collaborative effort that has been formed to promote energy from the Midwest instead of the Middle East by coordinating policy and research. "This consortium is designed to help Iowa and the 11 other states make sure they are able to continue to lead this transition to a bioeconomy," said Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture. "We need to ensure our state is prepared for the next generation of biofuels and other bio-based products," he said. The 12 states have the potential to produce one-half to two-thirds of the nation's perennial bioenergy crops and crop residues. In addition to Iowa, states in the coalition are Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The consortium recently received a $100,000 grant from the Energy Foundation of San Francisco to coordinate regional public policy development and research into the future of renewable energy. The Great Plains Institute in Minneapolis will assist in the coordination, facilitation and implementation of the 12-state consortium agenda.