Democrats Back Renewable Energy
Johan Bergenas and
Iowa Presidential Politics.com
Creating an economy that is more reliant on renewable energy
sources is fundamentally important to all the Democratic presidential
and presidential hopefuls said they would provide grants, federal
funding and tax credits to states and corporations that initiate
programs to provide a cleaner and
Five of the seven Democratic presidential hopefuls campaigning
in Iowa have established firm stances on renewable energy, many
of which echo each other. The Democrats criticize President Bush's
energy policies and vow to decrease the nation's reliance on Middle
Eastern oil contracts.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, likened his approach to renewable
energy sources to former President John F. Kennedy's vision for
the space program in the 1960s, setting a goal to put a man on
He said Kennedy called for Americans to be open-minded and share
their technological and inventive genius. Kucinich said that as
president, he would call for a similar movement toward renewable
"We were told it was a national obligation we had ... to learn,
to study, to help our country," Kucinich said of the Kennedy
initiative. "It was a feeling that we were all contributing
to something. It was a call for the American people to demonstrate
our great genius as a nation.
"I intend to make such a call on sustainability. A call for
Specifically, Kucinich aims for 20 percent of the total power generated
to come from renewable sources by the year 2010, said his Iowa
campaign manager, John Friedrich.
Other Democratic candidates also have plans for increasing the
amount of power coming from renewable energy sources.
Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., has detailed a plan "to ensure
that 10 percent of the nation's energy comes from renewable sources
in 10 years and at least 20 percent in 20 years," according
to his Web site.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., plan
to require the United States to generate 20 percent of its electricity
from renewable sources by 2020.
To reach those goals, each candidate is prepared to stimulate interest
in generating renewable resources by offering varying incentives
to states and corporations that invest in other
of energy than oil.
Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., supports "tax incentives and federal
budget outlays," said his Iowa press secretary, Kim Rubey. "He
also supports researching both renewable sources of fuel and fuel-efficient
technologies so we can become less reliant on foreign oil."
She added that he plans to fund his incentives by repealing the
Bush tax cuts for the nation's wealthiest citizens.
Gephardt, Kucinich, Dean and Kerry are all also in favor of federal
funding, grants and tax incentives to help their energy plans succeed.
"The governor focuses on not only increasing our independence on
energy but putting dollars into our communities," said Dean's
Iowa communications director, Sarah Leonard. His Web site indicates
he will also require more American biofuels, boost wind energy
transmissions and create a solar power tax credit.
Information regarding this issue could not be obtained from the
Rev. Al Sharpton, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, retired Gen.
Wesley Clark, or Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. Calls and e-mails
campaigns were not returned, and information was not readily available
on their official Web sites.
Quotes from the candidates
Johan Bergenas at [email protected] and Kelley Casino at