A Jobs Agenda for Iowa's Renewable Energy Future

As a nation we have made great strides toward becoming energy independent. Now is the time to accelerate that progress.

I believe, within 35 years, our country can and should be 100% powered by clean energy, supported by millions of new jobs. But we have to accelerate the transition right now. To support Iowa’s continued leadership in clean energy, as President I would:

Incentivize the production of clean energy, not fossil fuels.

  • End fossil fuel subsidies, and reinvest the savings in a long-term extension of the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit. These credits are critical to a healthy wind industry, and make rooftop solar installations affordable for homeowners and businesses. Yet Congress regularly lets the credits expire, leading to a boom-bust cycle of development that hurts job creation and investment.

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Support rural clean energy finance.

  • Launch a Clean Energy Finance Authority, and direct it to support community wind and solar projects. This should include working with rural electric cooperatives so they can affordably install renewable energy generation – from investing in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, to supporting partnerships so co-ops can take advantage of renewable energy tax credits.
  • Redouble USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, which provides grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, to help purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.

Provide a strong market for biofuels.

  • Enact a long-term extension of the Biodiesel Tax Credit, including production incentives for second-generation biofuels, while investing in renewable fuel infrastructure to support biofuels and electric cars.
  • Maintain a strong market for biofuels, by directing the EPA to set annual volume targets that comply fully with the Renewable Fuel Standard. High targets drive new investments in biofuel innovation and infrastructure, creating jobs and tearing down barriers to using renewable fuels.

Train workers to join growing clean energy industries.

  • Create a new Clean Energy Jobs Corps to partner with communities to build clean energy infrastructure, retrofit buildings to be more energy efficient, and expand our fields and forests so they can absorb more greenhouse gases.
  • Partner with industry to help meet skills and employment needs in renewable energy production, construction, and manufacturing. Launch a national initiative for career and technical education, starting in high school, to develop a pipeline of workers for the new clean energy economy.

Modernize our electric grid to support localized, renewable energy generation.

  • Prioritize modernizing our electric grid, to support localized, renewable energy generation – and better connect existing wind generation to the consumers who need it.

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