40 Iowa Legislators Endorse The #50By30 Clean Energy Goal

Any candidate running for president would love to have this long a list of legislators backing them in the caucus. 40 legislators put their names to a call for candidates to support a plan to generate 50% of energy from clean and/or renewable resources. Also earlier this week, Iowa’s former senator Tom Harkin wrote an opinion piece for the Des Moines Register highlighting why he supports a transition to a clean energy future.

“The first and best way to start is to make a dramatic step forward in embracing clean energy generation like wind and solar,” Harkin said in his op-ed. “That is why I am joining Iowa business, community, political and education leaders in calling for a 50 percent clean energy economy by 2030.”

The new push comes at an important time during the Iowa Caucus process, as candidates are being challenged to get more specific with their plans to create a clean energy future and the DNC is still feeling pressure to give the candidates more time to discuss their plans on the debate stage. This weekend’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner will also likely see a big push by clean energy activists to show their support around the four Democratic candidates as they speak to a crowd of about 9,000 activists.

The 50by30 phrase mentioned in Harkin’s op-ed is generally coined by NextGen Climate, the organization motivating Iowans to encourage candidates on climate action and attend the caucus. The Iowa team has been building a broad coalition the past few months, with this list of 40 legislators an added part of that comprehensive effort. These legislators come from a wide background of religious, business, community and education leaders advocating for more action on climate issues. Some, like Urbandale’s John Forbes, has often shown off his own efforts at making his business more clean energy-friendly, adding solar panels to his rooftop.

NextGen supporters with O'Malley
NextGen supporters with O’Malley

“Voters are calling for clean energy solutions and these legislators are embracing these solutions and calling on candidates to do the same,” NextGen Climate Iowa State Director Zack Davis said. “Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, but also the biggest opportunity. If candidates want to be taken seriously, they need to create clear and specific plans to create a clean energy economy.”

Climate change has become one of the top tier issues among the Democratic candidates this caucus season. It’s become common to have the major Democratic candidates mention climate change in their stump speeches and to hear questions about the environment and clean energy at events in Iowa. NextGen Climate Iowa is known for asking these questions, at both Republican and Democratic events, to hear specifics of each candidate’s plans for a clean energy economy.

Hillary NextGen Students
Clinton with NextGen backers

The list of legislators contains 9 senators and 31 representatives.

State Senators

  • Robert Hogg
  • Jeff Danielson
  • Joe Bolkcom
  • Janet Peterson
  • Tony Bisignano
  • Herman C. Quirmbach
  • Rich Taylor
  • Dick L. Dearden
  • Robert E. Dvorsky

State Representatives

  • Mark D. Smith
  • Liz Bennett
  • John Forbes
  • Daniel Kelley
  • Timi Brown-Powers
  • Brian Meyer
  • Lisa Heddens
  • Chris Hall
  • Todd Prichard
  • Curt Hanson
  • Art Staed
  • Marti Anderson
  • Jo Oldson
  • Sharon S. Steckman
  • Bruce L. Hunter
  • Scott Ourth
  • Ako Abdul-Samad
  • Ruth Ann Gaines
  • Sally Stutsman
  • Charlie McConkey
  • Abby Finkenauer
  • Todd E. Taylor
  • Bruce Bearinger
  • Vicki S. Lensing
  • Deborah L. Berry
  • Kirsten Running-Marquardt
  • Beth Wessel-Kroeschell
  • Mary Gaskill
  • Mary Lynn Wolfe
  • Mary Mascher
  • Dave Dawson


by Pat Rynard
Posted 10/22/15

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