DES MOINES, Iowa – A group of well-known Iowa conservatives have formed a nonprofit organization to support clean energy solutions to benefit the Iowa economy, improve the environment and strengthen our national security.

“We’re committed to educating and engaging everyday Iowans and our elected officials in common-sense energy policies that will benefit our state, nation and world today, tomorrow and far into the future,” said Jake Ketzner, executive director of the newly formed Iowa Conservative Energy Forum.

Ray Gaesser, a Corning farmer who is a former president of the American Soybean Association, Iowa Soybean Association and a 2018 candidate for Iowa secretary of agriculture, will serve as the ICEF’s board chair. Gaesser noted that research commissioned by the organization underscores Iowa conservatives’ belief that an “all-of-the-above” energy policy is the right course for the state.

“What we’ve found should come as no surprise, but it’s a story that simply isn’t being told enough: more than three of every four Iowa conservatives believe we should be pursuing an all-of-the-above energy strategy, which means lowering dependence on fossil fuels and allowing an increase in electric generation from emerging technologies like renewable energy as well as more energy efficiency,” Gaesser said.  “An amazing 93 percent of Iowa conservatives believe farmers and other landowners have the right to lease their land to wind companies while 85 percent believe we should continue or place more emphasis on solar power and 83 percent say we should continue or place more emphasis on producing wind energy.”

He added,” We’ve allowed the progressives to claim energy and conservation policies for too long. They don’t have a corner on these issues.”

Leadership Council Members:

  • Ray Gaesser, Corning – Chair
  • Chad Airhart, Dallas County Recorder, Waukee
  • Robert Brownell, Polk County Supervisor, Clive
  • Debora Blume, West Des Moines
  • Trudy Caviness, Wapello County GOP Central Committee chair, Ottumwa
  • Jeremy Davis, 2018 GOP Candidate for Treasurer, Ames
  • Sandy Greiner, former state representative and state senator, Keota
  • Darrell Hanson, former state legislator from Manchester and former Iowa Utilities Board member
  • Erik Helland, former state representative, Johnston
  • Peter Jeffries, public affairs executive, Clive
  • Sara Kurovski, Mayor of Pleasant Hill
  • Shannon Latham, vice president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds and a 2018 Iowa senate candidate, Sheffield
  • Aaron McKay, former Iowa director for Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. David Young, Pleasant Hill
  • David Oman, former chief of staff for Govs. Robert Ray and Terry Branstad and a 1998 gubernatorial candidate, Des Moines
  • Kathleen Parris, Conservative Activist, Audubon
  • Kathy Pearson, Conservative Activist, Cedar Rapids
  • Bob Rafferty, attorney and former Davenport state representative and Gov. Terry Branstad chief of staff, West Des Moines
  • Ruth Randleman, former mayor, Carlisle
  • Bryan Sievers, manager, AgriReNew, Glenora Feed Yards and Sievers Family Farms and former state senator; Stockton
  • Rob Taylor, former state representative, West Des Moines
  • Craig Williams, Carroll County GOP Central Committee chair, Carroll
  • Eric Woolson, political consultant, West Des Moines
  • Grant Young, Conservative Activist, Des Moines
  • Jake Ketzner, ICEF Executive Director, West Des Moines

“Individuals on our board demonstrate the breadth and depth of support among Iowa conservatives for common sense, market-based approaches to the costly, heavy-handed government-dominated policies proposed by liberals in Washington, D.C.,” Ketzner said. “They are Iowans who have the pulse of their communities, have a record of leadership and accomplishment, and are committed to the cause of a better environment, stronger economy and brighter tomorrow.”

Learn more at Iowa Conservative Energy Forum’s website: and their Facebook page can be found here.

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  1. The only “conservatives” who support wind energy are too lazy, too dim or too corrupt to perform a proper cost/benefit analysis. Just ask Warren Buffett: without the tax credit, they don’t make any sense.

    1. Yes, they need to do a cost/benefit analysis. BTW, the wind farm picture is mine, not something they included with their press release.

      I think we need to make clear that the issues of clean energy and conservation – which is the purpose of the group – is not just a progressive one. Now I don’t know what policies this group will advocate, but I’m encouraged by groups such as the American Conservation Union who are promoting conservation in a conservative manner. We shouldn’t let progressives own this issue. I hope this group actually does what they say they are going to do.

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