Op-Ed From Republican Business Owner: ‘Wind Is An American Success Story In Iowa’

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:

5 Responses to Op-Ed From Republican Business Owner: ‘Wind Is An American Success Story In Iowa’

  1. Leif says:

    This is in reference to overturning the Corporation Person-hood grant of the Supreme Court:

    IMO, we should let the case stand and attack it for what it is, NOT give corporations the advantage of their own rules. Corporation are “People” NOW, how come they get to pollute the commons for profit where as I get fined ~$100+ for throwing a paper cup out the car window? Try walking down the street with a broken CFL and make like you are dumping mercury on the neighbors lawn and report back your findings. (You might want to officially sanitize your bulb for your defense.) Coal has dumped far more than your implied efforts on the lawns of every square block of the planet. For their effort they receive cheep land, lax regulation of even existing law, tax breaks and even my tax money for subsidies! Go figure. The GOP do not fund abortion, how come my tax must subsidize the ecocide of Earth’s life support systems?

    The very foundation of Western Capitalism is the ability to pollute the commons for profit. The richest Corpro/People in the world for the most part are the receipts of that disparity and fully expect to take that money to their private accounts as humanity is forced to deal with rising seas, polluted mammies, acidified oceans and global climatic disruption that Corpro/People refuse to acknowledge is their problem in spite of over whelming international scientific evidence to the contrary. So the question is still: How come Corpro/People get to pick the “people” laws that suit them and not the time tested civil law of not trashing your neighbors property or being? It is past time that capitalism recognize the value of earth’s life support systems to the commons, of which they have now become part of, and learn to play nice with their elders.

    Only the Green Awakening Economy can lead to a sustainable future for all life forms.

    That’s my story and I am sticking to it…

  2. M Tucker says:

    Some states with Republican governors like jobs and Iowa is one of those. Other states with Republican governors want to play ideological games at the expense of jobs and Wisconsin is one of those. Iowa is a success story due to a very strong agricultural sector supported by high corn prices and corn ethanol subsidies and a strong manufacturing sector where the wind industry shines. Some Iowa cities have invested in climate adaptation that has brought jobs and new residents and Dubuque is one of those. They now think they can survive a 10 inch per day rain storm without catastrophic flooding. Iowa framers have also invested in adaptation strategies putting in field tiles to help drain the fields after torrential rains. Iowans will not support federal regulations to limit CO2 emissions, they will not accept that climate change is man made but they understand what makes the economy thrive.

    The lies coming from the oil, coal and gas lobbies cause all Americans to suffer.

  3. It seems that growth has become so ingrained in the mythology of American Exceptionalism that anyone who suggest that perpetual growth is as mythic as perpetual motion. Just this morning, I heard a talking head refer to the Democratic Party as the “growth party” as if continued expansion would solve our problems rather than exacerbate them.

    Until we decide to act on the idea that we live in a world of finite resources, we march onward to an avoidable end. Even solar energy is a finite resource on earth. But it will still last billions of years while fossil fuels will last only a hundred or so. But still they insist we use one up before it is time to change.

  4. SecularAnimist says:

    If preventing catastrophic global warming depends on getting rid of capitalism, or getting rid of the economic growth paradigm (which is certainly not unique to capitalism), or on otherwise reforming all of human civilization, culture and psychology in profound and far-reaching ways, then we are doomed.

    We need to end the growth of GHG emissions and begin rapid, steep reductions WITHIN 5 YEARS if we are to have any hope of avoiding the worst outcomes of anthropogenic global warming.

    We are not going to replace the entire world’s economic system in five years.

    We could, however, make a real good start on replacing fossil-fueled electricity generation with wind and solar power.

    Which is, by the way, what this article is about.

  5. Mark Shapiro says:

    Some of the comments in this pro-wind op-ed are pretty good, too. Not as much reflexive anti-Obama, anti-clean-energy stuff as I’d expect.