Energy Policy Dominates Iowa State Fair Soapbox

With all eyes on the Iowa State Fair, the Rural Power campaign successfully met with nearly all presidential candidates during the ten-day lineup at the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox, where candidates spoke and took questions from caucus-goers. The Rural Power campaign managed to make energy policy a focus of the Soapbox speeches.

Key Highlights:

  • Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) discussed the need to balance sustainability with sound economic decisions, saying, “I want to make sure we have clean land, clean air, clean water. But I also know we need to balance not only a sustainable environment, with a sustainable economy. The two go hand-in-hand.”
  • Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) urged Americans “to embrace the energy revolution in our country to be energy secure, with North American resources, in a short period of time.”
  • Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) stressed Ohio’s energy security, saying, “We found natural gas, and one of the great things about that is it’s allowing us to become energy independent.”
  • Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) discussed his opposition to the Clean Power Plan, saying it will “kill jobs in America and it kills technology and advancement in America. And, what we need to do—this is what we do in New Jersey—I think that each state should be able to do the thing that works best for them.”
  • Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) praised Iowa’s success at installing wind energy, saying, “Here in Iowa, you’re already making it happen. Ten, 15 years ago this wasn’t true, but today it is. 30 percent of Iowa’s electricity comes from clean, Iowa wind.”
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) called for an all-of-the- above energy approach, saying, “We’ve got to have solar, we’ve got to have ethanol, we’ve got to have wind, we have to have oil, we have to have gas, clean coal, we have to have nuclear, we have to have it all and we have to have the EPA out of the way.”
  • Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) told the audience about his experience securing reliable energy in New England, saying, “We came with a pact to get Canadian hydropower down from way up there in northern Quebec and Labrador, unlimited resources of hydropower, clean, reliable, affordable, just what you’re talking about.”
  • Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) discussed the benefits of affordable electricity by saying, “You heard me talk about manufacturing. That’s the key to getting this country going again. Well, one of the reasons that manufacturing can bloom here in America now is because of cheaper and more affordable energy.”

Up Next: REC Annual Meetings

In the coming weeks, Rural Electric Cooperatives across Iowa will be hosting their annual meetings. Cooperatives have reached out to all presidential campaigns to invite them to speak at these meetings to their highly engaged and politically active member-consumers. Stay tuned for more on this exciting opportunity.