NextGen's Tom Steyer Visits Iowa

NextGen Climate Iowa(Editor’s Note: Over tea with Tessa Lengeling, press secretary, NextGen Climate Iowa, prior to the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame celebration, she said the organization had signature cards on more than 42,000 climate voters prior to the 2014 midterm elections. Zack Davis, state director, confirmed the number later in the day. That’s a lot. We talk often about the problem of money in politics, and Steyer’s billionaire status places him firmly in the one percent. Whatever one thinks of Steyer and NextGen Climate, his is one of the voices working to influence the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, supporting progressive causes. Following is a press release from Wednesday).

NextGen Climate president Tom Steyer calls on Iowans to ask candidates to achieve more than 50 percent clean energy by 2030
Iowa Is Poised to Build the Clean Energy Economy of the Future—But Candidates Need to Do Their Part

ANKENY, Iowa—NextGen Climate President and Founder Tom Steyer today called on Iowa business and community leaders to ask candidates to lay out a plan to power our country with more than 50 percent clean energy by 2030, putting us on a path to a completely clean energy economy by 2050. This clean energy goal would more than triple renewable energy in our country, reduce pollution, lower energy costs and create millions of new jobs.

“Iowa businesses are already building the clean energy economy of the future, but we need candidates and leaders to do their part by supporting bold policies that encourage and accelerate this transition,” said NextGen Climate president Tom Steyer. “With the right leadership, Americans can come together and—just as we have done so many times before—turn climate change into a story of American ingenuity and foresight.”

Following a tour of the Des Moines Area Community College Campus Energy Center, which teaches students to assemble and maintain wind turbines, Steyer joined with business and community leaders to discuss Iowa’s clean energy leadership. During the roundtable discussion, Steyer praised Iowans for proving that energy sources like wind can power communities and drive economic growth—and laid out the case for why candidates need to outline plans to achieve at least 50 percent clean or carbon-free energy by 2030.

Businesses in Iowa are already leading the transition to a clean energy economy—creating jobs and driving economic growth in the process. A new report from the American Wind Industry Association and the Wind Energy Foundation shows that the wind industry already supports up to 7,000 jobs in the state, along with 13 factories and assembly plants. Wind already makes up more than 28% of Iowa’s electricity—and  Department of Energy data shows that could increase to more than 40% in the next five years. Business is doing its part to build a more prosperous economy for our country, but now we need leaders to step up and embrace ambitious—but achievable— goals to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy.

Steyer’s visit is part of NextGen Climate’s ongoing campaign to call on our leaders and candidates to embrace policies that accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. Earlier this month, Steyer laid out the economic case for clean energy during a visit with New Hampshire business leaders and on Friday, NextGen Climate released a new video “The Time is Now” and white paper “The Economic Case for Clean Energy,” highlighting how the transition to clean energy is already underway.

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