Greenpeace, Iowa Farmers Union, United Steelworkers, Des Moines Mayor, and Interfaith Power and Light tell Iowa Delegation: Global Warming Stops Here!

July 6, 2010

A diverse and influential group of Iowans concerned about global warming and national energy policy--including representatives of Greenpeace, the Iowa Farmers Union, and the United Steelworkers--joined forces today to tell Iowa's congressional delegation that they demand federal action on global warming and more investment in renewable energy.  The groups created a 30,000 square foot crop circle in the shape of a wind turbine in a cornfield near Ames to symbolize Iowa's demonstrated commitment to advancing global warming solutions and to prod Congress members to take action.

Currently, Iowa has the third largest developed wind capacity in the nation, behind California and Texas. Over 30 cities in Iowa have signed onto the US Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement, an agreement to "meet or beat" Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities

"The concern over global warming is very real," said Chris Petersen, President of the Iowa Farmers Union. "Now, we need to see our congressional representatives championing smart global warming solutions in Washington. These policies will bring investments to rural Iowa and allow us to continue to be a national leader in renewable energy."

The groups are asking Iowa's delegation to be leaders in Congress by supporting science-based legislation that reduces global warming pollution from today's levels within 10 years and 80% by 2050.

The only legislation that achieves these goals in the House of Representatives is H.R. 1590, the Safe Climate Act.  The bill contains the three elements that Greenpeace believes must be included in any realistic attempt to stop global warming:

  • a national cap on global warming pollution that produces real reductions from today's levels within a decade and reaches 80% reductions by 2050;
  • a national renewable electricity standard of at least 20 percent by 2020 that includes incentives for solar and other distributed renewable energy installations; 
  • and a significant decrease in tailpipe emissions.

"The time for action on global warming is now," said Kelly Mitchell, Global Warming Organizer for Greenpeace." Among Iowa's representatives, only Bruce Braley has joined 141 other co-sponsors in signing onto the Safe Climate Act. We need our other representatives to step up now."

Iowa has the potential to generate more than 20 times its electricity needs with renewable energy sources like wind farms and biomass from crops. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that a national renewable energy standard, like the one included in the Safe Climate Act, would create 2,130 new Iowa jobs, $83 million in consumer savings, $769 million in new investments, and $27 million in new local tax revenues

"The steelworkers of Iowa proudly support this call to action to our congressional delegation, not just because of future job growth or the imminent danger posed by global warming. This is simply the right thing to do. It is what brings us here today to stand with our friends and allies and acknowledge our common values," said Iowa Steelworkers Political Director, John Campbell.  

Global warming threatens Iowa with more extreme weather, droughts, and flooding. Warmer temperatures will severely damage crops and a changing climate will threaten our hunting, fishing, and tourism industries.

Press contacts:

Kelly Mitchell, Greenpeace


Daniel Kessler, Greenpeace


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