Culver makes big energy push

2007-01-13T00:00:00Z Culver makes big energy pushTodd Dorman The Quad-City Times
January 13, 2007 12:00 am  • 

DES MOINES – Chet Culver challenged Iowans to follow the lead of history’s risk-takers and transform their state into the “energy capital of the world” as he became Iowa’s 40th governor Friday.

Culver and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge recited their oaths of office at Wells Fargo Arena in front of a joint session of the Legislature and hundreds of Iowans. As Culver, the son of a former U.S. senator, took the oath, his playful young son, John, hid behind his father’s coattails. His wife, Mari, and their young daughter, Clare, also stood beside Iowa’s new governor.

Culver’s father, former U.S. Sen. John Culver, sat nearby on a stage filled with family members and dignitaries.

“Well, my fellow Iowans, this is our time,” Culver, a Democrat, said in his inaugural address. “It’s our time to accept the challenge, to explore and discover Iowa’s unlimited potential. It’s our time to win the race to become the energy capital of the world.

“There is an energy frontier open before us, and we must explore it immediately. America and the world are counting on us. Simply put, we can’t afford to duck this responsibility.”

Like his successful campaign to win Iowa’s top office, Culver devoted much of his speech to the argument that Iowa’s economic future lies in energy harvested from the state’s fertile land. Culver, a former high school government and history teacher, tied the quest for renewable energy to the pioneers who explored and settled the state.

“These visionaries were undaunted by the practical challenges of the day. They were guided by their faith, their hopes and their dreams, even when no one gave them a map,” Culver said. “Let us all come together as one and lead our own 21st Century Iowa expedition.”

He renewed his call for creating a $100 million “Iowa Power Fund” to bankroll research that pushes the state beyond its current staples of corn-based ethanol and soy biodiesel. He argued for making “the entire state of Iowa a laboratory” to find cutting-edge forms of renewable energy.

The effort, he insists, will create the kind of quality jobs that would persuade young Iowans to remain in the state.

“It’s time for Iowa to become the first state in the nation to declare energy independence,” Culver said.

Judge also spent much of her speech touting renewable energy.

“The entire country is buzzing over opportunities renewable energy offers in breaking the stranglehold of foreign oil,” Judge said.

Culver’s energy message was welcomed on both sides of the political aisle.

“I really liked the focus on renewable energy,” said former Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican. “It’s kind of neat, we’ve been promoting renewable energy in Iowa for 30 years, but the rest of the nation has finally discovered it in the last year or two.”

Sen. Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City, also praised Culver’s message.

“I liked the idea of an expedition, because it is a new expedition for all of us,” Ragan said. “We are the majority now, and it will be interesting to see how we handle that.”

Culver was handed the torch on a historic day for Democrats. It’s been 42 years since the party controlled both the Legislature and governor’s office.

Culver follows Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack into office – the first time two Democrats have been consecutively elected to the office since 1937.

But even as he was handed sizeable political power Friday, Culver promised to embrace bipartisanship.

“Let us work together in a sincere and inclusive way, to create one Iowa,” Culver said. “After all, we serve the same Iowans, they are counting on us, and this state’s future belongs to all of us.”

Rep. Cindy Winckler, D-Davenport, said that part of Culver’s speech resonated with lawmakers.

“I think he invited all of us to the table, and that’s very important,” Winckler said.

Todd Dorman can be reached at (515) 243-0138 or todd.dorman@lee.net.

OTHER ISSUES

Gov. Chet Culver also outlined other pieces of his first legislative agenda during his inaugural speech.

He called for raising the cigarette tax “to save lives,” lifting barriers to embryonic stem-cell research and expanding state health insurance for children.

Culver urged lawmakers to raise teacher pay, make college more affordable and raise the state’s minimum wage. And he asked legislators to pass a bill requiring schools to adopt anti-bullying policies.

“We should never tolerate hate, especially in the form of bullying and threats in the workplace or in our schools,” Culver said.

ONLINE: VIDEO

Watch as Chet Culver takes the oath of office, surrounded by his family.

Copyright 2016 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Police: Man charged with sexual exploitation of a minor

Police: Man charged with sexual exploitation of a minor

A Davenport man has been charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after Davenport police allege he possessed numerous visual…

4 hours ago(8)

RI Co. residents can speak out on board size

RI Co. residents can speak out on board size

Rock Island County residents will have the opportunity tonight to comment on a proposal to cut the size of the county board and reduce board m…

5 hours ago Related (0)

New legislation aimed at helping RI Arsenal

New legislation aimed at helping RI Arsenal

The Rock Island Arsenal’s factory would gain critical flexibility to vary its labor rates under legislation that lawmakers introduced in the U…

5 hours ago(0)

Uncertainty marks Iowa Medicaid forum

Uncertainty marks Iowa Medicaid forum

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — One word could summarize Tuesday’s Medicaid forum hosted by former Gov. Chet Culver: confusion.

6 hours ago(0)

St. Pat Society seeks Irish Mother of the Year

St. Pat Society seeks Irish Mother of the Year

The St. Patrick Society is on its annual search for the best Irish mother in the Quad-Cities.

6 hours ago(0)

Scott Co. board debates recording meetings

Scott Co. board debates recording meetings

For years, official records of Scott County board meetings have existed only in their minutes.

6 hours ago Photos

Photos

(1)

Iowa lawmakers would end ‘sanctuary cities’

Iowa lawmakers would end ‘sanctuary cities’

DES MOINES — A bill aimed at eliminating so-called sanctuary communities in Iowa won approval from the House Public Safety Committee Tuesday d…

7 hours ago(4)

Iowa House Republican introduces medical cannabis bill

Iowa House Republican introduces medical cannabis bill

DES MOINES — A more robust medical cannabis program in Iowa is about to get another look.

7 hours ago Photos

Photos

(0)

Rauner says Q-C reps working for Madigan, not constituents

Rauner says Q-C reps working for Madigan, not constituents

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, in the eighth month of a budget stalemate, urged a Quad-City audience Tuesday to pressure Democratic lawmakers in …

7 hours ago Photos

Photos

(6)

Photos: 'Operation Methed Up' nets 46

Photos: 'Operation Methed Up' nets 46

It started in August with a tip about a possible methamphetamine lab in a Davenport trailer park. Over the past several months, it has led to …

9 hours ago Photos

Photos

(1)

Fetal tissue bill advances in Iowa House

Fetal tissue bill advances in Iowa House

DES MOINES — Using fetal tissue from abortions for research or for sale would be prohibited in Iowa under a bill that advanced Tuesday in the …

10 hours ago(2)

Hearing postponed in Moline murder case

Hearing postponed in Moline murder case

A preliminary hearing scheduled Tuesday for a Rock Island man charged in connection with a Moline stabbing in which a man later died has been …

11 hours ago(0)

Ernst supports sanctioning North Korea over recent actions

Ernst supports sanctioning North Korea over recent actions

DES MOINES — Sen. Joni Ernst is supporting additional sanctions on North Korea in response to the nation’s recent tests of a hydrogen bomb and…

11 hours ago(2)

Iowa lawmakers OK bills to raise speed limit on rural roads

Iowa lawmakers OK bills to raise speed limit on rural roads

DES MOINES — Iowa lawmakers have advanced bills that would raise the speed limit on rural roads despite warnings that the change could lead to…

13 hours ago(16)

Isolated flurries, negative wind-chill values

Isolated flurries, negative wind-chill values

Good afternoon, Quad-Cities. Here is your National Weather Service forecast.

12 hours ago Video (0)

Davenport man faces charges in Sunday shooting

Davenport man faces charges in Sunday shooting

A Davenport man has been charged in connection with a shooting early Sunday. 

16 hours ago Related (11)

Man pleads guilty in armed robbery at Muscatine hotel

Man pleads guilty in armed robbery at Muscatine hotel

MUSCATINE, Iowa  — A 36-year-old man accused in the armed robbery of a Muscatine hotel has pleaded guilty.

18 hours ago Related (4)

Dearrel Bates bowling event set for March 6

Dearrel Bates bowling event set for March 6

The 7th Dearrel Bates Memorial Scholarship 9-pin bowling tournament will be at a new time and location this year.

18 hours ago Related (0)

Arc director leaves legacy of service

Arc director leaves legacy of service

It didn't take Kyle Rick long to get hooked on her job.

19 hours ago Photos

Photos

(0)