President Trump’s executive order on energy independence clear-cuts through a swath of environmental regulations, including President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which rewarded states that invested in renewable energies like wind power.
The state that wagered the most on wind turbines wasn’t California or Vermont; it was Iowa. And that bet has paid off in the form of a powerful local industry that won’t take kindly to Trump’s threats against it.
Newton, Iowa, is a small town of 15,000 people, located about 3o miles east of Des Moines. In 2007, the wind blade manufacturer TPI Composites set up shop in Newton, bringing 500 new jobs. Newton’s story isn’t an isolated case.
Throughout the American Heartland, wind jobs are on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind turbine technician is the fastest-growing job in the U.S., and most of those jobs are found in rural, agricultural places like Iowa.
Arielle Duhaime-Ross traveled to Iowa to see how the wind power industry could be affected by Trump’s latest executive order.
This segment originally aired March 28, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.