Iowa District 4
We haven't reviewed any presidential candidates yet, but check back soon!
Eddie Mauro is an insurance broker. You can find his campaign site here.
Mauro has a plan when it comes to climate change. He intends to introduce legislation to make America a net-zero CO2 emitter by 2045, and the rest of his plan outlines how he intends to reach this goal.
Mauro intends to increase funding from the federal government to renewable energy research and development. He wants to expand the economic benefits of introducing sustainable technologies in many different sectors, including agriculture and transportation, two of the major issues in Iowa. He acknowledges the role that climate change played in the flooding crisis of 2019, and how this has negatively affected farmers across the state. Mauro wants to introduce incentives to transition farmers to sustainable practices that won’t break the bank, while simultaneously working to restore wetlands and other vital ecological areas to cope with the changing climate.
Another awesome policy that Mauro supports is banning fossil fuel extraction on federal lands. This means no fracking, mining, drilling, or any other method of fossil fuel extraction in any area of a national park.
The real cincher on Mauro is his pragmatism. He acknowledges that climate change, at this point, is inevitable. He wants to upgrade and build infrastructure that reflects the change in our climate to protect the communities that are most at risk. He knows that farmers are the backbone of America, and that without the proper infrastructure and support, our failing agriculture system will snap under the weight of climate change.
Kimberly Graham is an attorney. You can find her campaign site here.
Graham indicates that she supports creating more sustainability in two major areas of pollution: agriculture and manufacturing. She has a few points about creating incentives for farmers to decrease soil erosion and comply with more stringent clean water initiatives. Graham has suggested that she would increase anti-trust legislation, which has hurt sustainable agricultural practices in becoming widespread.
Overall, the lack of information that Graham gives is her downfall. Without platform details and with little expansion on her given endorsements, we can’t say for sure that she’s a strong candidate.
Michael Franken is a retired Navy Admiral. His campaign site can be found here.
Franken does not have a solid platform for most any subject available, but the little information he does provide indicates that he has worked alongside many different governmental agencies to enforce environmental compliance issues and to facilitate new infrastructure projects. We think he has potential, but there’s just not enough information available to make an informed decision.
Theresa Greenfield is a real estate agent. You can find her campaign site here.
Greenfield acknowledges global warming and climate change, which is a step up from most of the Senatorial candidates. She has pledged to fight in Congress for good-paying clean energy jobs and to defend and strengthen environmental laws. She intends to stand up to the corporate special interests and wants to work towards solutions for Iowans affected by climate change, particularly flood victims, and to renovate infrastructure. She’s endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Greenfield isn’t a BAD pick, she’s just a vague pick at this point.
Joni Ernst has been an incumbent since 2015, and her campaign site can be reached here.
Ernst is not what we would call a climate warrior. She has an LCV scorecard overall rating of 1 percent, but, in her defense, that score went up about 7 percent in the last year alone, so we think she may have what it takes to work across party lines. However, her voting record is one fat “screw you” to the environment. She pretty much votes party lines, which has been detrimental to Iowa in the last year, as a lot of the legislation she voted against would have been a stalwart defense for farmers during the recent bout of flooding in the spring of 2019.
As you certainly know, Iowa is an agricultural state. Y’all bring us the meat and cheese and bread we love. Ernst serves on several committees in the Senate that regulate and bring agriculture-related legislation to the rest of Congress, and her opinion MATTERS when people are voting on this legislation. Since her tenure as a Senator, she has consistently voted against protections for clean air and water. She voted with McConnell on his Coast Guard Reauthorization Act (which regulated clean water and invasive species prevention to the Coast Guard), has consistently ignored legislation to protect our prairies and farmland from fracking, and has been supporting legislation that favors coal barons.
Overall, Ernst isn’t very earnest when it comes to protecting the natural world and has consistently shown that she can’t see the damage her own political decisions have done to her state. We suggest looking elsewhere for a green and energy-forward Senator to keep Iowa from drowning in years to come.
Cal Woods is a real estate agent. He does not have any information available on his stances.
Paul Rieck is a scrap metal worker. Rieck does not have an official website for his campaign, and there is no information available regarding his views on the environment or green energy.
Suzanne Herzog is an economist. You can find her campaign site here.
Herzog does not provide information on her stance on climate change or sustainability.
District 4 Representatives
J.D. Scholten is a paralegal and ex-minor league baseball player. You can find his campaign site here.
We like what Scholten has to say about farming. He wants to see the Conservation Title within the Farm Bill balance environmental needs with farmers’ concerns. He wants to invest in local and regional food systems to lessen the burden of global food consumerism on local economies and environments. He has suggested reintroducing native Iowa crops, like hemp and Aronia berries, which is a great step toward sustainable, natural, and local agribusiness.
Scholten also recognizes the need to control the pollution that massive hog farms are causing, and how local air and water quality are now alarmingly bad. He proposes giving more power to communities to create systems that regulate hog waste and clean their air and water as a bipartisan and supportive solution to the impact of animal husbandry on water purification
Additionally, Scholten states that he supports investment in green technologies and conservation. He supports expanding sustainable energy production on local and national levels. He has some solid ideas that we support but would like to see more fleshed out plans.
Bret Richards is an ex-Irwin mayor, and a retired businessman. You can find his campaign site here.
Richards has limited information available on his energy platform and view on sustainability. However, he is a staunch supporter of ethanol and ethanol production and has publicly called for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s resignation. We support him on that.
Jeremy Taylor is the Woodbury County Supervisor and an ex-state Representative. You can find his campaign site here.
Taylor supports ethanol production and has stated he wants the EPA to stop erroneously granting waivers to small refineries to minimize ethanol usage. Taylor also supports the USMCA, which would boost the Iowan economy, and which names different marine protections and fishing issue safeguards. However, his stances on other renewable energy sources and sustainability and other environmental protections are unclear.
Rick Sanders is the Story County Supervisor and a businessman. You can find his campaign site here.
Sanders doesn’t have much information available, but, to his credit, has improved public recreation areas during his time in office as the Story County Supervisor. These recreation areas include the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor, several wildlife areas, trail networks, and various parks.
Randy Feenstra is a state Senator, ex-Sioux county treasurer, and ex-Hull city administrator. You can find his campaign site here.
Feenstra doesn’t have a great green voting record. To begin, he voted against expanding criminal offenses for animal mistreatment, one of only 16 state senators to do so.
Although he claims to support renewable energy outlets, he does not have a defined plan to keep biofuel relevant, or to help manufacturers expand the wind energy business. His platform is vague at best, and his voting record doesn’t push us to think he would make a great environmental candidate.
Steve King is the incumbent for District 4 since 2003. You can find his campaign site here.
King has an overall LCV scorecard rating of 9%! He’s doing terribly as far as voting in favor of the environment goes.
King has an “all-of-the-above” energy approach. He knows that biodiesel and ethanol production are a core economic driver in Iowa, but he consistently votes against other environmental safeguards, like methane production regulation and clean water safeguards. He has consistently voted against any wildlife protections and repeatedly voted to cut funding to ensure that endangered species get the protections they need to avoid extinction.
King’s political career is marked by the Farm Bill. Instead of using his influence in Congress to progress sustainable farming practices that benefit both the farmer and the environment, he has consistently promoted predictability over practicality. The changing climate has already affected Iowan farmers, and without the proper fallbacks and safety nets that farmers rely on from the Farm Bill, Iowa will see a drastic economic setback. The Farm Bill needs leaders in Congress to adapt legislation to fit the needs and changing environment that we are now facing. Instead of ponying up to that challenge, King promotes the status quo, ignoring the destruction that will continue if he continues to ignore climate change.
Chris McGowan is the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce President and an attorney. You can find his website here.
McGowan does not have any information available on his political platform.
Steve Reeder is a real estate developer and broker. You can find his campaign site here.
Reeder doesn’t share his views about environmentalism or sustainable energy in his platform.