With the largest number of wind energy jobs in the nation, Iowa has undoubtedly benefited from wind energy tax credits. During President Obama’s recent visit to an Iowa manufacturing plant that makes blades for wind turbines, the president reminded the crowd that both of Iowa’s senators and the state’s Republican governor supported the clean energy tax credits –with good reason. As a New York Times editorial pointed out today, wind power and other renewable energy sources are spreading aggressively across the country, but the loss of the Production Tax Credit would threaten that growth, meaning the potential loss of the 6,000+ wind energy jobs in Iowa.
Across the United States, the wind industry supports 75,000 jobs, including 30,000 in manufacturing. With the manufacturing industry hit hard by the recession, wind turbine manufacturing plants can bring jobs and economic stability back to towns with widespread unemployment – like Newton, Iowa, where the president delivered his speech on Friday. Once home to a major Maytag manufacturing plant, Newton currently employs over 700 workers in the wind energy industry.
In contrast to the hemming, hawing, and stalling on renewable energy in Congress, twenty-nine state governments have pushed forward renewable energy standards. Iowa’s target is 30% renewable by 2020, and thanks to the state’s naturally windy plains and a strong wind energy industry, the state is already two-thirds of the way towards its goal.
Additionally, a majority of Americans – over 64% – support Congressional efforts to encourage clean energy.
Watch the President’s speech in Iowa below: