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O'Rourke Outlines Details of Climate Plan at Mason City Town Hall

May 08, 2019 05:47 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Former Texas congressman and Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke laid out a number of additions to his $5 trillion climate plan Wednesday, items his campaign said were directly shaped by conversations he's had with Iowans.

Before a crowd of several dozen at Fat Hill Brewing in Mason City, O'Rourke spoke about leaving a legacy relating to climate change that future generations, including his own children, can look back on and be proud of.

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"I want to make sure when (my son) looks back on us, it is not with disappointment but with pride," O'Rourke said. "He sees this country come together, defying party or geography or any other difference, to free ourselves from a dependence on fossil fuels, to invest in renewable energy, to follow the lead of farmers to put them in the driver's seat, to allow them to make a profit planting cover crops."

Among the key initiatives he unveiled Wednesday are investments in flood infrastructure after significant flooding impacted both sides of the state earlier this year; a partnership with local governments to streamline the siting application process for wind farms; and an expansion of federal crop insurance to cover risks to stored grains.

O'Rourke also touched on topics ranging from immigration to healthcare and guns, reaffirming his support for a national "red flag" law that would allow family members to petition a court to temporarily remove an individual's guns from their possession if it's believed that individual may have the potential to harm others with them. 

He also expressed support for student debt forgiveness for individuals who fill the roughly 45,000 vacant positions within the VA system to help provide better access to healthcare to veterans.

Northwood resident Sharyl Nestor attended the town hall to hear O'Rourke's stance on the issues as she weighs who to support as the 2020 election nears.

"I haven't decided yet, so I want to see as many as I can," she said. "As long as they're coming to Iowa, it's a good opportunity."

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Logan Reigstad

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