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April 23rd, 2009

Obama Uses Iowa Visit to Push Cap and Trade

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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obamanewton-copyPresident Obama visited Trinity Structural Towers in Newton, Iowa. yesterday. Trinity is a business that produces the huge steel pedestals that support wind turbines for the windmills that are popping up all around Iowa and the nation. The business is located in one of Maytag’s old production plants and employs some former Maytag employees.

President Obama toured the plant and spoke with workers before making his speech in front of the 170 people gathered on the factory floor. His visit highlighted how Iowa’s wind industry has created good paying jobs in Iowa.

Obama’s visit to Newton undoubtedly helped to highlight Iowa’s alternative energy industry, but that issue comprised only one segment of his remarks. Obama spent considerable time talking about climate change and advocating for his cap and trade policy. Under his proposal, the government would set a limit, or cap, on the amount of a carbon that can be emitted into the atmosphere by any one entity. Companies and individuals would then be issued emission permits.

Obama’s cap and trade proposal has plenty of critics – some even on his own side of the political aisle – and it coincides with other new regulations coming from his administration. A new EPA proposal would charge farmers thousands of dollars per acre because farmers engage in carbon producing activities when putting their fields into production. This new proposal ignores the fact that these same farmers are planting millions of carbon consuming/oxygen producing plants.

One also has to wonder what Obama’s cap and trade proposal would mean to a company like Trinity. While they produce products that are used to build energy producing windmills, the company basically creates huge steel tubes. The amount of energy and the carbon emitted in producing these enormous structures has to be considerable, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the impact of transporting these structures to their final destinations.

Another theme in Obama’s speech was that there are some things that we can all do to use less energy. Once again, Obama said that Americans should make sure their tires are inflated properly to make sure they are getting the optimum gas millage for their vehicle. He also said that, if every American would switch out one regular light bulb for a compact florescent bulb, we could power 3 million homes.

Obama also continued to support tax credits for people who buy energy efficient furnaces, but said we need to look for other home appliances where we could cut energy use. Obama called for more efficient refrigerators and dishwashers. I thought these were odd comments to make in a factory that once housed a proud Iowa company that produced those products.

Obama said that politicians in the past have been unwilling to make the difficult decisions to help curb America’s thirst for energy, but he said he is not afraid to lead on the issues of energy and environment. He admitted that it will not be easy, and all Americans will have to sacrifice.

It seems certain that Obama’s new regulations will have a major impact on life as we know it. While having the government mandate tire pressure, thermostats, and light bulbs is one thing, Obama’s cap and trade policy will certainly increase the costs of essential goods for all Americans, which is a sacrifice that Americans simply cannot bear during these tough financial times.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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