In November we will be given a choice to change the direction of the United States politically. As is the case every two years the entirety of the U.S. House of Representatives is up for election. Many of the House districts in the United States are drawn in such a way that partisan incumbents face little challenge to their reelection bids.
In Iowa, however, relatively fairly drawn House districts mean that we have an actually competitive race between incumbent Rod Blum, no friend of this blog, and Democratic challenger Abby Finkenauer.
As an environmentalist I think comparing the candidates’ views on climate change to be instructive as it serves as a point of departure from the Trump wing of America and the rest of the country.
Rod Blum is a climate change denier. As a member of the arch-conservative and downright wacky House Freedom Caucus Blum has not met an environmental rule or agreement that he did not want to gut like a catfish. In 2014 he went on the record as a skeptic of climate change. He supported Trump’s move to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. While in office he has continued to financially benefit from oil and gas stocks while moving to open up public lands to more oil and gas drilling.
The League of Conservation voters nailed it by giving Rod Blum a 2% lifetime score when it comes to national environmental issues. Honestly, I am quite surprised he managed to drum up 2% given his voting record. He’s basically Scott Pruitt, but from Dubuque, Iowa.
Contrast that with Abby Finkenauer, who has an entire section of her campaign website dedicated to the environment and clean energy. Entitled “Growing our Clean Energy Economy and Protecting our Environment” it states that:
I’ll play a similar watchdog role in Congress, and will just as firmly stand up to attempts to weaken key programs and measures that fight climate change, grow our clean energy economy, and protect our environment. Ultimately it’s time we had a representative who fights for Iowa families – ensuring they can live in healthy environments supported by good jobs – rather than standing with corporate polluters and those opposed to science.
I believe that the choice of what is right for Iowa’s 1st district and, thus, the United States is to vote for Abby Finkenauer this November. It’s just the planet that is counting on you.