Yet again, Congress has been unable to extend vital tax credits for the wind industry, causing incredible uncertainty in the fast-growing wind sector and threatening thousands of jobs across America. With the production tax credit set to expire next December, manufacturers are already seeing a cut back in orders and developers are thinning their portfolios. Wind companies need clarity on future investments, and a looming tax credit expiration hurts business.
A new study released this week by Navigant Consulting and prepared for the American Wind Energy Association finds that an expiration of the production tax credit could cause the loss of up to 37,000 jobs.
So who are the American workers with jobs in the wind industry impacted by political inaction? And what do they have to lose?
Center for American Progress video producer Andrew Satter traveled to Iowa and spoke to people working in Iowa’s wind industry – a sector that enjoys strong bi-partisan support, maintains over 3,000 jobs, and generates $50 million in revenue for the state each year.
That economic activity helps support middle-class workers like Nathan Crawford, a wind technician with Alliant Energy who tells us how much he enjoys his job.
“It’s pretty cool that I get to do this every day,” says Crawford. “The wind industry has been able to bring me and my wife back close to home.”
But with national political leaders dragging their feet, they threaten these good-paying, middle-class jobs in America’s heartland. That is the true price of inconsistency in the clean energy policy.