While House Republicans hold events across the country today — pushing discredited claims about the Environmental Protection Agency and drilling, through the ironically named House Energy Action Team — President Obama will make the case in Iowa for extending renewable energy tax credits to save American jobs. Speaking at an Iowa wind blade manufacturer in Newton, Iowa, Obama presents his “To Do” list for Congress, which includes prioritizing the Production Tax Credit for wind.
The Center for American Progress traveled to Iowa to talk to experts about the PTC. In this video, Dr. Harold Prior of the Iowa Wind Energy Association and Brian Crowe of the Iowa Economic Development Authority explain how lacking national renewable energy policies hurt development and investments in wind in the long-run. Watch it:
Wind energy provides thousands of jobs in Iowa, like this one of a turbine maintenance worker in Franklin County.
As a national leader in wind generation and jobs, Iowa workers benefit immensely from the PTC. There are more than3,000 manufacturing and operations jobs in Iowa, and 6,000 to 7,000 workers overall, with more than 215 wind-related businesses. Wind energy powers nearly 1 million Iowa homes with electricity, and 20 percent of the state’s total electricity.
Though some Republicans choose to ridicule wind energy, the PTC has broad bipartisan support. For instance, an op-ed from a Republican business owner argued, “The president kept our doors open and our employees working because of the wind-production tax credit and 1603 Treasury grant program.” Meanwhile, 64 percent of Americans support congressional efforts to encourage investments in clean energy. So with Americans firmly behind the President’s proposal, the question remains whether Congress will act.