Nobody would argue that there are great masses of voters across the land staking their presidential votes on how Mitt Romney and Barack Obama stand on the production tax credit for wind power. But there might be a few in some key states, and those voters now have a clear choice on the issue.
The Romey campaign came out Monday firmly against extending the PTC, seen by the industry as vital to its continued growth and supported by a number of Republicans in states where wind power has been a jobs booster.
“I’m disappointed that the statement by Governor Romney’s spokesperson shows a lack of full understanding of how important the wind energy tax credit is for Iowa and our nation,” Latham said in a statement released soon after the Romney camp’s declaration of opposition. “It’s the wrong decision. Wind energy represents one of the most innovative and exciting sectors of Iowa’s economy. Nearly 7,000 hardworking Iowans are employed by over 250 businesses associated with the wind energy industry in our state…. I invite Governor Romney to step forward and re-evaluate the statement issued by his campaign spokesman.”
The “statement” referenced was made Monday by Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, who told the Des Moines Register Romney “will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits.”
President Obama has been a strong advocate for the tax credit. Despite having what qualifies in Washington these days as bipartisan support, efforts by wind power proponents to extend the credit beyond its Dec. 31 expiration have stalled in the Senate, where the requirement of 60 votes to pass legislation has proved insurmountable. The credit, worth 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of power produced, generally has run for two years but hasn’t been allowed to expire since 2004.