Grassley urges McCarthy to visit Iowa, see renewables in action

By Erin Voegele | February 16, 2021

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter to White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy on Feb. 16 inviting her to visit Iowa and learn about the state’s leadership in renewable fuel production and sustainable energy.

McCarthy, who served as administrator of the U.S. EPA during the Obama administration, was selected in December 2020 by President Biden to serve as climate czar. She will advise Biden on domestic climate change policy and lead the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, which was established by Biden via executive order on Jan. 27.

Grassley’s letter to McCarthy was issued in response to a recent quote attributed to her in which she said “We have to get the middle of the country understanding and active on climate. We have to show them what resilience looks like.”

In his letter, Grassley stresses Iowa’s position as the leading U.S. producer of corn, ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol and cited a recent study that found corn ethanol produced today achieves up to a 61 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction when compared to gasoline. He also discusses the state’s leadership with regard to other forms of renewable energy, such as wind power.  

“We have heard similar sentiments for years from Washington D.C. that the middle of the country needs saving or that the middle of the country needs to learn from the East and West Coast,” Grassley wrote. “Let me assure you—politicians, scholars, and think tanks would be wise to look closely at how Iowa has become a leader in renewable energy production. From manufacturing, to education, to research, Iowa is a true leader in sustainable energy.”

“So, instead of pointing the finger, I am hoping we can again work together and learn from each other,” he added. “During his inaugural address, I took President Biden’s words to heart, ‘This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail.’

“Surely belittling folks in the middle of the country with disparaging comments is not what President Biden meant in his inaugural address,” Grassley continued. “Therefore, in a show of unity, I would like to invite President Biden, yourself, other relevant cabinet officials, and White House staff working on energy and environmental issues to come to Iowa and learn.”

Grassley said the visit would showcase the tremendous progress being made in states like Iowa and would demonstrate “just how resilient the middle of the country can be.”

“Iowans are committed to using our natural resources in an environmentally responsible manner,” he added. “It is critical that the Biden administration understand the impact of the decisions the federal government will make that will be either beneficial or harmful to Iowa’s progress and role in producing food, feed, and fuel for our nation and the world.”

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from Grassley’s website


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