Iowa’s GOP Governor Blasts Romney Campaign On Wind Tax Credits: They Need To ‘Come Out Here To The Real World’

Now that Mitt Romney’s campaign has officially declared the candidate’s desire to kill tax credits for wind while maintaining tax credits for the mature oil and gas industries, Midwestern Republicans are not happy.

Iowa Republican Representative Tom Latham said Romney’s decision “shows a lack of full understanding of how important the wind energy tax credit is for Iowa and our nation.”

And Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the man working behind the scenes to get an extension of the tax credit for wind, said he thinks “people that didn’t know what they were doing said it.”

In an interview with Radio Iowa today, Republican Governor Terry Branstad also had strong words for Romney’s campaign, saying they “need to get out here in the real world and find out what’s really going on” before abandoning support for the industry. The wind industry supports 7,000 jobs in Iowa and makes up 20 percent of the state’s electricity.

Branstad said he’d like to speak with Romney personally about the issue:

“I hope to have that opportunity….  The statement has been made by somebody involved in his campaign, not by Governor Romney. And I think there’s a confusion on their part.

“We think it needs to be continued, not forever, but it does need to be continued for a while and the result is it’s been a very good thing for Iowa in terms of 20% of our energy is now generated by wind. We now have a lot of farmers that receive rent from having wind turbines on their property and we have a lot of jobs associated with it so we think he needs to be educated as to how important this is and I’m hopeful that we can see.. they’re lumping the two together and they need to understand there is a differential… And Senator Grassley is working really hard to get this extended.”

Reporter: “But on his campaign website for months, he has called them wind mills, he doesn’t call them wind turbines and he says they are as economically unproductive as solar energy.”

Branstad: “They don’t understand. You’ve got a bunch of people that have put the website together that are a bunch of east Coast people that need to get out here in the real world and find out what’s really going on.”

The wind tax credit, which has helped the wind industry drop costs by 90 percent and compete with the heavily subsidized coal and gas sectors, is set to expire at the end of this year. Already, wind companies are laying off employees and cancelling factories. Navigant Consulting estimates that up to 37,000 jobs could be lost if the credit is allowed to expire.

Fellow Republicans aren’t just concerned about the economic impact. They’re also concerned about potential political fallout in a region where wind is such an important piece of the economy. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Iowa Republican Representative Steve King implied he thinks the tax credit issue could have an impact:

“We need to win Iowa this time. President Obama thinks it’s a must-win state for him, and I think it’s a can-win state for Mitt Romney, but this wind piece.…”

He faded off without finishing the sentence — unsure what Romney’s stance on wind will do to the candidate’s political prospects.

7 Responses to Iowa’s GOP Governor Blasts Romney Campaign On Wind Tax Credits: They Need To ‘Come Out Here To The Real World’

  1. Mark Shapiro says:

    Regarding economics, and subsidies in particular, always remember that external costs (pollution) are all subsidies.

    We don’t know the exact cost of pollution and AGW, but it certainly isn’t zero.

    Subsidies are sub-optimal, but externalities are worse. Externalities are theft.

  2. squidboy6 says:

    Wind power can fill the gaps that solar leaves. Glad to hear that a few GOPers are calling Wrongney out!

    Near Point Conception, Ca. Bush Sr. forced the building of two offshore oil rigs and a refinery near Gaviota, Ca that marred a pristine part of the So Cal coast, then guess what? The price of oil never rose high enough to make the asphalt profitable! The things have been mothballed ever since! Going on almost 25 yrs!

    However, I lived near there and we had wind-power which worked for longer than 25 yrs and it was only two days in three years when we didn’t have enough wind! Two days. The batteries held enough charge so it didn’t matter.

    There are complaints about wind power but not one compared to the oil platforms and refineries!

  3. D. R. Tucker says:

    The “man of the moment” on climate change joined us – Dr. Richard Muller of BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) and a physics professor at UC Berkeley has made headlines this week with his op-ed acknowledging that not only is climate change real, but that humans are “almost entirely the cause”. Muller’s research is funded in part by the Koch Brothers so this should be interesting. Next, Charley Bandy of the Blue Mass Group with his outspoken take on the state of climate politics and Lisa Bardack, a blogger with a clever Barbie spiel on the dangers of fracking. She reports on Saturday’s Stop the Frack Attack rally on Washington.

    Read more:
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

  4. Chris Winter says:

    A good introduction to the potential of wind power in America is Harvest the Wind by Philip Warburg. Here’s my review.

  5. Spike says:

    Massive new turbines are planned for offshore deployment in Europe as the report below shows with some great pictures

  6. ANOTHER example how romney’s policies are going to hurt our economy, our environment and the people who have been duped into supporting him. I am sure if enough repiglican politicians and their corporate masters had more money invested in wind turbines there wouldn’t even be a debate about extending the tax credits. But they have been bought by and are controlled by their big oil, big gas and big coal corporate masters who are reaping huge profits and tax credits. I would think a governor of a state that may loose 7000 jobs because of corporate ownership of his own political party would do more than condemn the party’s corporate presidential candidate. If he has a spine he should threaten to withhold his political support and endorsement.

  7. maz hess says:

    Romneys opinions are always changing with the wind. That is the reason why he doesn’t like the wind. It makes his life so unpredictable…. (a liberal, a republican and a tea party man are entering a bar, the barkeeper greets: “hallo romney!”)