FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Gohringer, 202-454-4573 or Jeff_Gohringer@lcv.org
WASHINGTON – When Mitt Romney travels to Pueblo, Colorado today, he’ll have a front row seat to the layoffs caused, at least in part, by his opposition to the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy. Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, announced in August that they are eliminating nearly 100 jobs at their tower factory in Pueblo due the PTC’s looming expiration. Two weeks before Vestas announced the layoffs, multiple news outlets reported that Romney’s opposition to the PTC had thwarted a bipartisan Senate agreement to extend the wind industry’s critical tax credit.
“If Mitt Romney was really committed to creating jobs, he would visit with the laid off workers in Pueblo and see how his anti-clean energy agenda is already costing jobs,” said Navin Nayak, LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns.
"It is the height of irony that Mitt Romney would come to Pueblo and talk about creating jobs in Colorado. If he was serious about job creation, he would quit catering to his big oil supporters and join the bipartisan support in Colorado for clean renewable energy jobs and extension of the wind production tax credit," said Pete Maysmith, Colorado Conservation Voters Executive Director.
As Politico reported in early August, senior Senate sources have said that Romney’s announced 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.
The American Wind Energy Association has found that in 2011, the wind industry alone supported 4,000-5,000 jobs in Colorado and has also estimated that letting the tax credit expire will cost 37,000 jobs nationwide. Vestas’ CEO has said that the company will have to lay off most of its 1,600 Colorado employees if the PTC is not extended.
Although Romney has politicized the PTC this election season, it has traditionally had bipartisan support. Three of the state’s four Republican congressmen have expressed support for extending the tax credit, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and extended by every president since.
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. The ad ran on television and online throughout Colorado.
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Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters, www.lcv.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.