There are certainly many critical issues for voters to consider when choosing between the two Iowa gubernatorial candidates. Iowa’s deteriorating soil health and dangerously impaired water quality should rate near the top in factoring into voters’ decisions about choosing the state’s next governor.
Many voters now getting to know Fred Hubbell may not be aware of his outstanding record as a champion for the environment. The future viability of Iowa’s agricultural production, as well as the state’s quality of life, is dependent on protecting Iowa’s critical water and soil resources. Hubbell’s environmental knowledge and experience uniquely equips him to be an effective advocate for Iowa’s natural resources.
Iowa waters are seriously contaminated with both an excess of nutrients and dangerous levels of bacterial contamination. Reversing both of these growing pollution threats can’t be ignored any longer. Clean and safe water is basic to life and Iowans expect their political leaders to champion the cleaning up of Iowa waters.
Just as life is dependent on clean and safe water, Iowa must preserve its greatest natural resource, healthy and productive soil. Soil is a renewable resource, but it’s being depleted at a much faster rate than the level of regeneration. Iowans should elect leaders that are willing to save our natural soil resources for future generations.
Governor Kim Reynolds and the Republican-controlled legislature have had an opportunity to reverse Iowa’s declining water quality and soil loss. They have failed to make any significant progress in reversing the threats to Iowa’s natural resources. Not only have they failed to make any improvements, they have no plan for the future.
Fred Hubbell not only offers specific plans to clean up our water and preserve our soil resources, he has a long, proven history of environmental advocacy.
Both Fred Hubbell and his wife Charlotte have been long time supporters and champions for environmental sustainability efforts. Fred as Chair of the Iowa Power Fund from 2007 – 2011 was an innovative leader for solar, wind power, clean energy and energy efficiency. Charlotte co-founded the Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) in 1993, and previously served on the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission.
The Hubbell’s’ support for the IEC, the premier environmental umbrella organization, demonstrates their long and active commitment to environmental sustainability. The IEC is an alliance of diverse organizations (over 50 in number) and individuals working together to protect and preserve Iowa’s environment. The IEC advocates for clean water and land stewardship, clean energy, and a healthy climate.
Fred Hubbell supports Iowa’s Soil and Water Future Task Force, including the statement that, “Iowa has a unique opportunity to invest in Iowa’s soil and water infrastructure – an infrastructure that is critically important to the state’s wealth and prosperity.”
Hubbell has specifically identified the fundamental areas that must be fully funded:
- He supports fully funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
- He also supports fully funding the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
- He supports fully funding the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP) that goes to trails, wildlife habitat and community grants.
One of the most controversial and critical threats to Iowa’s water quality is the inadequate regulation of confinement feeding operations (CAFOs). Hubbell is quite clear about how he will bring adequate regulation to the explosive growth of CAFOs across Iowa.
“The basic design for regulation of confinement feeding operations in Iowa is not keeping up with the rapid growth of the industry,” a Hubbell campaign statement read. “In addition, lapses in requirements for information sharing, inadequate oversight by regulators and specific loopholes allow many operations to avoid meeting the intent of the law. The present protection for neighbors of CAFOs is inadequate. There must be a change that allows each county to have more influences over its economic future.”
Fred Hubbell is running for governor because Iowans deserve clean water, the preservation of our soil and a long term commitment to renewable energy. He has the knowledge, the experience and the leadership skills to finally reverse the declining quality of Iowa’s water and degradation of Iowa soil. Iowa needs Fred Hubbell.
by Rick Smith