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Republican Senator On Romney’s Anti-Wind Position: It Was ‘Like A Knife In My Back’

By Rebecca Leber on August 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

"Republican Senator On Romney’s Anti-Wind Position: It Was ‘Like A Knife In My Back’"

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Wind energy draws strong bipartisan support, with more than 81 percent of installed wind capacity located in Republican congressional districts, bringing billions of dollars in private investment.

You wouldn’t know it based on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Romney has called wind investments “boondoggles” and wind jobs “imaginary.” And the candidate doubled down on his anti-wind policies by announcing his opposition to extending the production tax credit for the industry.

This policy has infuriated some Republican voters and lawmakers from wind-driven states. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) explained his increasing frustration with the campaign at a recent town hall:

“I’m the author of the wind energy tax credit of 1992, and there were people from outside the state came into Iowa and issued a press release that the Republican candidate for president was opposed to wind energy, and I felt it was just like a knife in my back, as the author of the bill, without even being consulted about it,” he said during a town hall meeting at the Greater Burlington Partnership offices in Burlington.”

Grassley takes a much harsher tone now than when Romney’s campaign first announced the policy. Grassley was initially skeptical of Romney’s true position, saying in July, “I have got to get to the bottom of what they are doing, because I think people that didn’t know what they were doing said it, because [Romney] was over in Poland, he obviously wasn’t thinking about wind energy.” But Romney has maintained the position.

Romney’s campaign still hasn’t gotten the message from Grassley, or the dozens of other Republican supporters, wind businesses, and the majority of Americans who support wind investment. It hasn’t helped that Romney has been completely silent on what his policy would do to the 215 wind-related businesses in Iowa, and 75,000 jobs nationally. He offers no alternative to the 37,000 jobs that could be lost if the tax credit isn’t extended past 2012.

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18 Responses to Republican Senator On Romney’s Anti-Wind Position: It Was ‘Like A Knife In My Back’

  1. Zimzone says:

    Grassley will be muzzled by his party. Count on it.
    The GOP will not allow dissent over the chosen one, regardless of how many times Mitt does backflips & bellyflops.

  2. RichWhy says:

    When Paul Ryan blew off that drought question at the Iowa State Fair, of all places, saying he just wanted to enjoy the fair, that gave me all I needed to know about where the Romney/Ryan priorities lie. Certainly not with real people with real US jobs.

    • janet says:

      RichWhy little pauly Rayn (Rand) did the exact same thing last year at Labor Day Parades throughout his district. Laborers would come up to him and inquiry about his lack of support for workers. His response was, “This isn’t the proper place for that. We’re here to ENJOY the parade. (statement prompted by his wifey)Would you like some candy? Have some candy.” LABOR DAY is not for laborers in this evil soul! Must be for politicians hooked on “entitlements.” There are youtube accounts of these exchanges.

  3. Unfortunately for this country, the GOP no longer tolerates Republicans like one time CA Congressman Pete McCloskey or even more recent (2011) retiree Vern Ehlers (PhD in Physics). Add the petty posturing of a Newt Gingrich and you have the reason this California Green left the Republican Party myself.

  4. SecularAnimist says:

    Rebecca Leber wrote: “Romney’s campaign still hasn’t gotten the message from Grassley …”

    Romney’s campaign has gotten the message from the Koch Brothers: the wind and solar energy industries must be destroyed.

    Romney doesn’t care about jobs. He cares about protecting the profits of reactionary fossil fuel oligarchs.

  5. janeyz says:

    I think Wind Energy is great.

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The sheer, brilliant, destructiveness of adversarial politics in capitalist states never ceases to impress. The resolution of absolutely critical issues approached, not through rational discussion, pooling of intellectual resources and collaboration and compromise, all aiming for mutually beneficial outcomes for as many as possible, but through sheer pig-headed obstruction, lies, slander and demonisation. Every facet of life reduced to a contest to produce winners and losers. The levels of hate are always being cranked upwards, all egged on by a daemonic and despicable far Right media machine, whose apparatchiki plainly thrive on hate, anger and vilification. And this system is supposed to deliver us ‘from’ evil?

  7. Spike says:

    this is a bizarre decision by Romney – over in Europe this makes him look like an even bigger idiot than his recent visit. Virtually nobody in Europe is opposing wind power apart from the more swivel eyed members of the UK Ccnservative party, the sort of UK Tea Party equivalents, pushing for fossil fuel vested interests.

  8. Will Fox says:

    Wind power is one of the fastest growing, most successful industries in America, amid the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Romney’s opposition is quite simply insane.

  9. Joan Savage says:

    Romney’s wind gaffe in Iowa is like Obama’s ‘clean coal’ in Ohio. Voters brush over these embarrassments later on and often pick a president by which political party seems more fit to run the country.

    The real battle is over party control of Congress.

  10. Crease says:

    Chuckles Grassley shouldn’t be worried about the stance of the Vulture or the Voucher because the Voucher will tlak big oil,coal and natrual gas corporate welfare out of one side of his mouth,talk ending green subsidies out of the middle of his mouth and talk green energy subsidies out of the otherside of his mouth and the amazing thing is he does it all once and nobody on the right cares about the hypocrisy as long as the Obama(balck guy) is voted out of office by any and all means possible.

  11. They should just put a windmill in front of Romney’s mouth.

  12. majii says:

    Grassley isn’t the only person upset by the Romney/Ryan team’s position on wind and alternative fuel subsidies. Many farmers are also upset because they will lose money if these programs are cut/eliminated, and many of them reside in red states.

  13. Lecoor says:

    I see the politics of the GOP ideologues.
    However, the ultimate judge, which is a-political, is nature and the planet.
    What we don’t realise is that nature will mete out the consequences of poor decisions, and she has already begun to do just that! If the $ billions of hidden costs aren’t enough, the likely impact will soon show us more.

  14. Bob Tregilus says:

    I think we should allow the ITC and PTC to expire. Using taxpayer monies to prop up the solar and wind industries is partly to blame for what’s holding us back from deploying more renewable energies in the U.S. Utility ratepayers should pay 100 percent for the energy they use without taxpayer subsidies.

    Rather than RPSs, ITC, PTC, rebate programs, net-metering (the worst!) as well as the rest of the byzantine mix of incentive programs that are holding the deployment of renewable energies back (by design by the way)–we need to simply pay people a fair price, that assures a reasonable rate of return on their investment, to feed their energy into the electric gird.

    You know, like they do in Germany with the EEG or what we call a Feed-in Tariff.

    Heaven forbid the power companies pay individuals, co-ops, small businesses, farmers and ranchers, industrial property owners and so on to generate energy in the U.S.–or that ratepayers–not taxpayers–pay for the energy they use. That’s too simple. Well, maybe not, since our utility sector is still 100 percent rooted in 19th and 20th century business practices.

    “Looking
    for a planned economy? Don’t look to Germany”