By Madeleine Neal
When new Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds visited the University of Iowa earlier this month, she noted that, for years, Iowa has prided itself in leading the nation in renewable energy.
But when President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord earlier this month, and when most Iowan Republicans stood behind the decision, an open dialogue about Iowa’s long-kept history of renewable energy resurfaced.
In her visit to the UI to discuss campus biomass initiatives, Reynolds, a Republican, said she wanted the state to continue to lead in renewable energy.
“Since the ’80s, we’ve led the nation in renewable energy and fuels,” Reynolds said. “Not only do we feed the world, but we fuel the world.”
But in addition to leading the nation in renewable energy and fueling job growth, Reynolds also said she will lead an all-Iowa farm trade mission to China in July, which she hopes will serve as another opportunity for Iowa to bring investment to the state and to grow its market share for Iowa commodities.
For Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Accord was not about renewable energy or climate change; rather, it was about former President Barack Obama’s entrance into the agreement without congressional consultation.
At her third-annual Roast and Ride earlier this month, Ernst said whether she agreed or disagreed with Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement was no longer relevant.
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