Dubuque, IA – This week’s troubling Associated Press story by Ryan Foley (Iowa State worked with utilities to uproot key energy center) sheds light on GOP efforts to secretly undermine the Iowa Energy Center, a leading resource for the growing renewable industry. Thanks to Abby Finkenauer’s leadership on the Government Oversight Committee and the Associated Press’ investigative journalism, the public now knows the details of the GOP scheme to eliminate this important program, which supports a field that has created tens of thousands of jobs across Iowa.

The renewable and clean energy industry offers skilled, high-paying jobs in an industry that is growing much faster than traditional energy jobs and oftentimes offers the only such opportunities for many of Iowa’s rural communities. The ethanol industry alone supports 43,000 jobs in Iowa and helps our rural economies succeed. These industries offer great potential to a wide variety of working people, from recent high school graduates, to people in traditional energy fields, to advanced engineers.

“Instead of doing everything possible to encourage and attract renewable energy jobs, Republicans – in the dark – are making deals to hold us back,” said Finkenauer. “I’ll continue to speak out against partisan Republican efforts that hurt rural Iowa’s economy, our environment and the spirit of transparent government Iowans demand and deserve.”

These actions by Iowa Republicans are in line with Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent decision to leave biodiesel volume requirements stagnant and cut advanced and cellulosic ethanol, which will freeze investment in next generation biofuels.

Joe Farrell, Campaign Manager for Abby Finkenauer for Congress, offered the following statement regarding Finkenauer’s leadership on this issue:

“Rep. Finkenauer’s leadership on the Government Oversight Committee has brought a serious issue to light. By moving the Iowa Energy Center out of ISU and removing its funding, Republicans have hobbled a successful program that supports the wind, solar and ethanol energy industries and the 71,500 jobs they’ve created right here in Iowa. Furthermore, the Iowa Energy Center has played a vital role in not only supporting Iowa’s renewable energy industry, which has become a national leader, but in supporting our farmers and rural economies.”

“It’s disheartening to see Republicans supporting corporate special interests over the interests of Iowans. We expect that out of Washington, and now it’s come to Iowa. In Congress, Abby will fight these secret efforts, just as she’s fighting them in the legislature.”