The Wonk Room has previously identified seven key U.S. Senate races and fourteen U.S. House races between a vote for climate action and a global warming denier. Today, the Wonk Room highlights four gubernatorial races which could shut down the clean energy revolution in the Midwest. In Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, four Democratic governors who have supported clean energy may be replaced by Republicans who have expressed fealty to big oil. The Republican candidates — Terry Branstad in Iowa, Sen. Sam Brownback in Kansas, Rep. Mary Fallin in Oklahoma, and Matt Mead in Wyoming — hold commanding leads in the polls over their Democratic opponents. The Republicans mock global warming as a conspiracy, doubt that it is caused by manmade pollution, and promote the expansion of the coal and oil industries in their states.
The heartland of America is under extreme threat from the destructive power of global warming, including increasingly frequent catastrophic storms, heat waves, and drought. Furthermore, by denying the opportunity of clean energy jobs, these potential governors risk turning their states into economic wastelands.
Former governor Terry Branstad is leading Gov. Chet Culver (D-IA) in the race to run Iowa’s government. Remarkably, even though Iowa is increasingly devastated by catastrophic floods, Branstad’s only public policy position on global warming pollution is:
– To support the construction of a South Dakota oil refinery near the Iowa border that will emit 19 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Furthermore, Branstad has attacked Culver’s $875 million flood recovery plan, falsely claiming “it saddled Iowans with excessive debt.”