A- A+

Investment, Disruption + Misunderstandings in the Energy Space

Energy Forum

November 30, 2022

During the 2022 Public Policy Issue Forum on Energy, a panel discussed the importance of sustainable energy and how energy policy is essential to a strong economy. The panel was led by moderator Dustin Miller, Nyemaster Goode P.C. Law Firm, and consisted of the following panelists:

  • Matt Herman, Iowa Soybean Association
  • Kathryn Kunert, MidAmerican Energy Company
  • Dylan Mullenix, Des Moines Area MPO

Federal + Local Government Investment

Funding through the federal and local government focuses on creating sustainable communities. With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, there is another federal investment into sustainability and energy. When local communities receive that funding, it will spur even more innovation and growth in the energy sector.


In the energy space, the availability of electric vehicles is one disruptor. As charging stations are found in more places, questions arise surrounding the current gas station model. Another disruption is on the biodiesel side of the oil industry. During the pandemic, when people stopped driving and trucks were delivering more, the petroleum industry lost demand for products. The diesel market, however, was in high demand with the number of people buying goods online.

These changing economics moved refineries to move toward making renewable diesel. The landowner rights issue is causing a disruption as well. On one side there are landowners who want to see renewable energy. They are “harvesting the wind” and embracing solar energy. On the other side are the anti-renewables. Solutions and new technologies are on the horizon, but in the meantime, there is risk of losing leadership in renewable energy, losing the business of local generation, etc. while struggling against the anti-renewable stance. It's important to remember that when there is a lot to work through, including emotions surrounding these disruptions, the conversations and solutions can be even harder and take longer.

The next Public Policy Issue Forum on Economic Development will be held on Thursday, Dec. 15 from Noon until 1 p.m. during a hybrid event on Zoom and in-person at the Greater Des Moines Partnership office at 700 Locust St., Suite 100 in Downtown Des Moines (DSM).

The Partnership's Public Policy team engages with local, state and federal officials to create public policy that generates economic growth, business prosperity and talent development in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Partnership is a nonpartisan organization.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.