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In Iowa, Bob McDonnell Refuses to Stand up to Romney on Wind Energy

Contact: Mike Palamuso, (202) 454-4598 or

July 26, 2012  

WASHINGTON – The Des Moines Register recently highlighted bipartisan concerns that Mitt Romney’s “opposition to wind power could put a damper on Iowa’s wind industry and its thousands of jobs.” But prospective vice presidential candidate and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell refused to take a position on the wind production tax credit while campaigning for Romney in Iowa this afternoon, another reminder of just how devastating a Romney–McDonnell ticket would be for the state.

“Even with thousands of Iowa jobs hanging in the balance, Gov. McDonnell didn’t have the courage to stand up to Romney and support the wind production tax credit,” said Navin Nayak, LCV Senior Vice President for Campaigns.

Although McDonnell refused to take a position on the production tax credit for wind energy today, Romney has taken one - he would end it, a move that the Iowa Wind Energy Association says “could mean the loss of several thousand jobs” in Iowa.  Nationally, the wind trade group estimates that letting the PTC expire will cost 37,000 jobs.  

In an op-ed earlier this year, Romney declared that wind and solar energy are not “real energy,” writing: “In place of real energy, Obama has focused on an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy. This vision has failed.”

The Des Moines Register article reported that “industry insiders and policymakers in Iowa, Republicans and Democrats alike, say ending the credit would hurt Iowa’s blossoming industry.” The article noted that Iowa is home to roughly 7,000 wind industry workers and that “20 percent of all electricity generated in Iowa is from wind turbines.” It also cited research by the  Iowa Wind Energy Association showing that the state’s “landowners with wind turbines bring in a combined $14.4 million annually in lease payments.”

McDonnell’s own state has already lost out on jobs when a company that proposed installing a wind turbine prototype in Virginia ultimately moved the project to the Spanish Canary Islands, citing in part “uncertainty over the future of tax credits.”

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