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With workers in the renewable energy sector in Iowa facing job losses, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is calling on President Joe Biden to honor his commitment to green energy and job creation.
As a candidate, Grassley said, Biden made several campaign promises about increasing use of renewable energy.
“When it came to Iowa, that was mostly about ethanol,” but also wind energy,” Grassley said Wednesday during a call with Iowa reporters.
In one appearance, Biden said the Renewable Fuel Standard “marks our bond with our farmers and our commitment to a thriving economy.”
More recently, Grassley said, the president has called on OPEC to drill for additional crude oil and discussed potentially opening up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That may make sense in the short term, but given the Biden administration focus on climate change, Grassley would like to see more support for clean energy, including wind, solar and biofuels.
Now, TPI Composites, a Newton manufacturer of wind turbine blades, has announced it will lay off 710 workers and Arcosa Wind Towers is idling about 80 employees, Grassley said.
Despite Biden's campaign promises of adding over 10 million green energy jobs, “in Iowa, people who already work in the clean energy sector … are getting pink slips,” Grassley said.
“President Biden needs to prioritize biofuels and fight for American wind energy workers if he's going to come anywhere close to fulfilling his campaign promise,” Grassley said.
In addition to calling on the president for action, Grassley intends to make his case to the CEO of General Electric, which has been purchasing TPI blades. There has been speculation General Electric would get blades from a Danish company it recently purchased.
During his time in the Senate, Grassley said, he’s had General Electric officials in his office multiple times.
“I listen to them. They ought to listen to me in this instance,” he said.
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