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Iowa Republicans blast Romney on wind tax credit

President Obama supports the wind production tax credit because he knows that it encourages investment in clean, renewable energy and supports thousands of American jobs in states like Iowa. But Mitt Romney has officially endorsed its expiration—putting him at odds with voters, politicians, and newspapers across the Hawkeye state.

As the Des Moines Register emphasized in a recent editorial, Iowa’s wind industry leads the nation in jobs and depends on the tax credit to continue to grow. In fact, experts estimate that if the credit were to expire at the end of 2012, the wind industry could lose up to 37,000 jobs. Meanwhile, Romney would eliminate this tax support while continuing to support over $4 billion a year in subsidies to Big Oil. Here’s what some Iowa Republicans had to say to Mitt Romney about his misguided position:

  • U.S. Rep. Tom Latham: “It’s the wrong decision.”

    “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. 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, making Iowa the top state in wind energy employment. A continuation of the wind energy tax credit is in the best interest of our nation’s all-of-the-above energy policy for American energy independence and for our economy.”

  • Governor Terry Branstad: “He needs to be educated as to how important this is.”

    “It’s been a very good thing for Iowa in terms of 20 percent of our energy is now generated by wind. We 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.”

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

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley: “I don’t think it’s going to stand.”

    “I don’t think it’s going to stand,” Grassley told reporters. “I don’t think that that’s the real position of the party, because they said that they were going to consult me on this stuff, and they haven’t gotten my view.”

Romney’s position is extremely unpopular with the people of Iowa—in fact, some 85 percent of Hawkeye voters see wind as positive for the state. And 57 percent of voters, including 41 percent of Republicans, said they would be less likely to support a presidential hopeful who doesn’t support expanding clean wind power.

Unlike Mitt Romney, President Obama understands the importance of creating clean energy jobs and supporting Americans who harness energy in an environmentally friendly manner—that’s why he’s standing with the people of Iowa on extending the wind tax credit.