A Republican lawmaker from northwest Iowa marked “Earth Day” by calling for more, not less carbon emissions. State Representative Dwayne Alons of Hull gave a speech on the floor of the Iowa House this afternoon.
“Carbon dioxide has been made out to be some kind of toxic gas, but the truth is it’s the gas of life,” Alons said. “We breathe it out. Plants breathe it in.”
Alons, a retired member of the Iowa Air National Guard, is a farmer who does not subscribe to what he calls the “religion” of “the green lobby” and its belief in global warming.
“Let’s burn more coal and other hydrocarbon fuels to make Earth Day even more greener next year,” Alons said.
About 20 people protested at Drake University on Earth Day, complaining about a speaker brought to campus by the oil industry. James Jones, President Obama’s former National Security Advisor, is a supporter of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to Texas.
“The world is separated by a lot of things, but one of the key separations is (this): ‘Do you have energy or do you not?'” Jones asked. “‘Are you going to be like Mr. Putin and use energy as a weapon or are you going to be like the Americans and use energy for the greater human good?'”
Jones said processing Canadian crude oil in Texas will be good for the U.S. economy because it will add jobs and help the U.S. become more energy self-sufficient. His visit to Drake University was sponsored by the Iowa Energy Forum, which is financed by the American Petroleum Institute. About 20 students and members of Citizens for Community Improvement staged a rally on campus to protest the pro-pipeline speech. Two Drake students who are from Nebraska said the pipeline project, if completed, “threatens their home state’s air and water, property values and quality of life.”