Jay Inslee wants to make millions of clean energy jobs, says Iowa is leading the way

Source: By Linh Ta, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Iowa is a prime example of how to do that, he said.

During a Monday stop at the Beerhouse, a restaurant and sports bar in Urbandale, the Washington governor talked about his plan to not only make an impact on climate change, but on employment. Urbandale Area Democrats were receptive to the pitch.

A 34-page document, Inslee’s “Evergreen Economy Plan” outlines a $9 trillion plan to cut emissions, create clean energy infrastructure and incentivise companies to go green through tax credits. Details include investing in clean energy technology nationwide, spending billions on clean energy structures and increasing federal funding for clean energy research.

Inslee, who also visited the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Ankeny on Monday to learn about its wind turbine technology program, praised Iowa for being on the forefront of clean energy and job creation.

Iowa is a leader in wind energy technology and turbines in the country and local students have reaped the benefits — at 10 turbines per technician, the need for skilled technicians has grown both in Iowa and in the country.

“Iowa is an epicenter of the new clean energy economy because it has combined an innovative spirit and a skill set that has developed the wind turbine industry,” Inslee told the Des Moines Register.

Inslee praised the state’s work in biofuel and said his home state of Washington refines biofuels that are shipped from Iowa. He also praised the solar energy industry, citing Paulson Electric and the growth of solar panel installation jobs in the country.

“If people doubt our ability to do this they should come to Iowa and come to Washington state,” Inslee said.

Linda Smith, 70, of Urbandale, a member of the local area Democratic group, said that she agrees with the need to create more renewable energy jobs.

“I hope he gets far and gets on the debate stage,” Smith said. Inslee currently qualifies for the first and second Democratic debates, but needs more donors to enter the third and fourth.

Laura Crowley, 55, of Urbandale, said climate change is one of her big issues and that she appreciates that Inslee prioritizes it.

“We have to move towards green jobs,” she said.

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center, tours flood damage, Friday, April 12, 2019, in Hamburg, Iowa.