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Local

Gabbard talks ‘green economy’ at TPI campaign stop

2020 candidate asks why U.S. isn't more invested in renewable energy

Tulsi Gabbard, presidential candidate and U.S. representative of Hawaii's second congressional district, speaks with constituents and wind energy advocates Thursday afternoon at TPI Composites, Inc. in Newton.
Tulsi Gabbard, presidential candidate and U.S. representative of Hawaii's second congressional district, speaks with constituents and wind energy advocates Thursday afternoon at TPI Composites, Inc. in Newton.

With a humongous, yet-to-be-shipped wind blade serving as a backdrop, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii felt “like a kid in a playground” during a Thursday afternoon campaign stop inside the TPI Composites manufacturing plant in Newton as she advocated for cleaner energy and discussed her exclusion from the 2020 Presidential Debate.

Protection of the environment, the candidate said, motivated her to get involved with politics, calling herself a “big proponent” for renewable energy resources such as wind energy; especially when they are “made here in America,” acknowledging TPI’s efforts to manufacture composite wind blades.

Former Iowa State Senator of 15 years Jeff Danielson — who now works for the American Wind Energy Association and introduced Gabbard to the small crowd of locals, media and TPI associates — also praised her support of renewables and said he was proud of TPI’s place in Iowa and its support of Iowa caucuses.

“(And for) making sure the candidates for president, like Tulsi Gabbard, have access to good ideas, but also the good people in Iowa that are going to make up the caucusgoers,” Danielson said, later adding that Gabbard understands that “energy security and national security go hand in hand.”

Pivoting to climate change, Gabbard argued the issue does not have to be a choice nor will pushing toward green energy eliminate jobs, suggesting TPI as an example. She also claimed the talks of climate change has become a “partisan political flashpoint” dividing constituents into “climate believers” or “climate deniers.”

“Both sides are so busy attacking one another that they’re missing, really, what’s at the heart of why we care about our environment, which is that we want to have a safe place to live for ourselves,” Gabbard said. “We want to make sure we leave behind a safe and beautiful home for our kids and generations to come.”

As president, Gabbard said she would continue to push forward and “change the fossilized way of thinking from the past” and transition subsidies for fossil fuel corporations into investments for a “greener economy,” for a more renewable energy future.

“Why is it that we’re not investing more in renewable energy? Why is it that we don’t see the kind of priority being placed in every community on creating a new green economy?” she said.

Recently, Gabbard returned from active duty and found out she would not be selected to participate in the 2020 Presidential Debate. At the past debate, Gabbard received a fair amount of social attention media attention when she called out fellow candidate Kamala Harris for her record as a prosecutor.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re not in the third debate, but we’re going to continue to work hard,” Gabbard said. “That’s not the only way to speak with and meet with voters across the country. So our people-powered campaign is going to continue to bring that message all across the country.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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