FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Gohringer, 202-454-4573 or Jeff_Gohringer@lcv.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the first Presidential debate taking place this week in Colorado, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Victory Fund today launched a new $500,000 television ad campaign featuring a former employee of a local wind turbine manufacturing plant who says he recently “got laid off because Mitt Romney and his friends in Congress want to eliminate tax credits for wind energy.” The ad begins airing today in the Denver media market and runs through October 7th.
“Mitt Romney pretends his campaign is about creating jobs, but the extreme agenda he and his allies are pushing is already costing Colorado workers theirs,” said Navin Nayak, LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns. “Instead of looking out for middle class workers like Chris, Mitt Romney is siding with his Big Oil backers and letting America’s clean energy jobs be created in places like China.”
The ad features Chris Maese of Pueblo, Colo., who built wind turbines at Vestas’ Pueblo facility. Vestas is the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer. In the ad, Maese talks about how Romney’s opposition to extending the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy helped cause his layoff in August.
Politico reported that senior Senate sources have said that Romney’s opposition to extending the PTC “derailed” a bipartisan Senate agreement to renew the tax credit. The New York Times similarly reported that “Senate Republicans removed” the PTC extension from the Senate Finance Committee’s tax extenders package “to show their loyalty” to Romney. Two weeks later, Vestas announced the layoffs at its Pueblo facility.
"Hard working middle class Coloradans like Chris Maese could still have their wind energy jobs if Mitt Romney had endorsed extending the bipartisan supported wind tax credit. Instead Romney proposes a 19th century energy plan which caters to his corporate lobbyist supporters and big oil donors that will do little to lead Colorado - and this nation - towards a clean energy future," said Pete Maysmith, Colorado Conservation Voters Executive Director.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has found that in 2011, the wind industry alone supported 4,000-5,000 jobs in the state– many of which would be endangered if the tax credit expiries. AWEA has estimated that letting the tax credit expire will cost 37,000 jobs nationwide.
Romney’s position puts him at odds with Republicans, Democrats and local job creators in Colorado. Three of the state’s four Republican Congressmen have expressed support for extending the PTC. Although Romney would devastate the renewable energy sector, he would continue giving billions of dollars in taxpayer-subsidized handouts to oil companies, some of the most profitable companies on the face of the planet.
In April, the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund and Priorities USA Action partnered to release a television ad titled “$200 Million Man” to highlight Romney’s pledge to protect Big Oil at the expense of middle class Americans. Between his two Presidential campaigns, Romney has received more than $2.6 million from oil and gas interests. The ad ran on television and online throughout Colorado.
Backup for the latest ad is available here.
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Paid for by the LCV Victory Fund, 202-785-8683, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.