'Green New Deal' receiving mixed reactions among Iowa business leaders

Published: Feb. 15, 2019 at 4:55 PM CST
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A resolution in Congress that some call the "Green New Deal" might soon be up for a vote but it is getting mixed reaction from some business leaders in eastern Iowa.

House Resolution 109 aims to combat climate change through a myriad of different plans that include expanding renewable forms of energy, reforming public transportation, and requiring new government "policies and programs" among other things.

The so-called Green New Deal has Denny Royce, Vice President of Sales at Moxie Solar in North Liberty, excited for what it could mean for his business.

"Our earth is in dire need of getting stuff done and I think this is the way to do it," said Royce.

The 14 page resolution calls for the country to use 100% of its power needs with "zero-emission energy sources" within 10 years.

To accomplish the goal, the resolution also lays out a plan that includes "upgrading all existing buildings" in the county "to achieve maximum energy efficiency". It is that part that has Royce seeing green in more ways than one.

"Even though they might have tall goals I think it's still a step in the right direction," said Royce.

Royce insists the New Green Deal in his view will not just benefit his company but all of Iowa as he thinks it will create new jobs.

Cindy Golding of Cedar Rapids, owner of CNJ Investments, is a commercial and residential property investor who believes any mandate to fellow property owners, like that which is laid out in the Green New Deal, would wreak havoc on Iowa's economy.

"You do something like this, this country will collapse," said Golding.

Golding tells TV9 she thinks a better idea would be to allow property based businesses to follow existing regulations and make any decisions about energy efficiency improvements to themselves.

"The average taxpayer will be paying a higher energy bill to accomplish this," said Golding.

Royce concedes making the United States 100% green will be a huge task but it is one he says his company is ready to face.

"That is going to be tough but we're there to try and achieve it," said Royce.

TV9 reached out to eastern Iowa's representatives in Washington about the Green New Deal.

"Increasing our reliance on renewables, like wind energy, is a laudable goal and an important part of our efforts to protect the environment, but we need to be realistic about our nation's current energy needs and capabilities. This proposal from the Democrats is far too costly, extreme and impractical," said Republican Senator Joni Ernst in a statement.

“Finding bold solutions to combat the effects of climate change is a crucial task. I am pleased that House Democrats are finally taking steps after 10 years of inaction to address this urgent crisis. While traveling across Iowa I've visited many farms, schools, and small businesses that are already leading the way in using and producing renewable energy. We must develop a plan that makes sense for Iowa, creates jobs here at home and best addresses the dire effects of climate change. I look forward to participating in the upcoming hearings held by House committees and working with my colleagues to craft real solutions for what could be the defining issue of our time," said Democratic Representative said in a statement Dave Loebsack in a statement.

"'I have a record of getting clean energy incentives enacted, but it is important to remember that the federal government consumes, it doesn't create wealth. Wealth is created in the private sector. The government is a service. It doesn't produce profit. It doesn't create jobs or new investment or new productivity that expands our economy... I'm interested in creating a growing economy where there's more for more people. History also shows that free and wealthy economies are cleaner for the environment than government-directed, poorer ones," said Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in a statement.