Wind Energy Provides Stable Middle-Class Jobs In America’s Heartland

Editor’s Note: EarthTechling, always looking to forward the cleantech revolution discussion, is proud to bring you this article via a cross post from partner Center for American Progress. Author credit goes to Andrew Satter.

Iowa has become a national leader in the growing wind industry due to its natural potential and early adoption of the technology. Wind energy powers the equivalent of 900,000 homes in Iowa, and 200 companies provide thousands of middle-class jobs. It stands to gain even more, economically and environmentally, by promoting wind energy in the coming years.

However, congressional inaction on an important tax credit has threatened the industry in Iowa and throughout the nation. With the production tax credit set to expire in December 2012, manufacturers are already seeing a cut back in orders and developers are thinning their portfolios. Wind companies need clarity on future investments, and a looming tax credit expiration hurts business.

So who are the American workers with jobs in the wind industry impacted by political inaction? The Center for American Progress traveled to Iowa and met Nathan Crawford, a Lead Wind Technician at Alliant Energy’s Whispering Willow Wind Farm. We spent the day with Nathan and learned about the quality of life afforded by good-paying, middle-class jobs in America’s heartland.

The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, our work addresses 21st-century challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care. We develop new policy ideas, critique the policy that stems from conservative values, challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter, and shape the national debate.