It must have been the attack ads criticizing clean energy that caused Republican Rob Hatch to speak up. A 10-year veteran of the wind industry, Hatch, who calls himself a former “Iowa farm boy,” has expanded his wind business to 28 employees.
And now he’s defending his livelihood from the “oil billionaires spending millions of dollars on false smear TV commercials” in a spirited op-ed:
It is difficult to watch these people air their TV ads slapping around the president’s support of my employees’ jobs and ridiculous claims that he created jobs in Mexico and China.
The president kept our doors open and our employees working because of the wind-production tax credit and 1603 Treasury grant program.
And we were able to keep jobs in Iowa. The majority of the people I employ here in Alta are either farm kids or still working on the family farm in the evening. Today, the school district in Alta receives somewhere between 16 percent and 20 percent of its revenue from wind turbines. And almost 30 percent of the taxes paid into the county are off wind turbines.
Wind is an American success story in Iowa.
With 2,900 turbines in Iowa providing 20% of the state’s electricity, creating more than 215 businesses, 6,000 jobs, and helping spur more than $14.46 million in annual lease payments to farmers and other landowners, wind has been a major driver of economic activity. And that activity is benefiting business owners like Hatch:
I can tell you that I’m not reaping massive profits like the oil billionaires funding these ads with their billions in subsidies and tax breaks. Right now my wife and I are living invoice to invoice, praying we have enough money to make payroll every two weeks. I have missed Christmas concerts, wedding anniversaries and school plays and sacrificed so much more to keep my business going.
These economic success stories have been well documented. They involve people like Nathan Crawford, a wind technician based in Fraklin County, Iowa, who we visited in December: