Iowa has one of the nation’s most robust wind industries, employing between 6,000 and 7,000 people directly and indirectly [PDF]. For Iowans, the expiration of the wind production tax credit (an incentive that allows the industry to compete with entrenched fossil fuel generation) is a huge economic threat.
From the Omaha World-Herald:
Rob Hach owns Anemometry Specialists, an Alta, Iowa, company that builds testing equipment for wind farms. Even though he’s a staunch Republican, Hach is ticked off enough by Mitt Romney’s opposition to wind energy subsidies that he’s campaigning for President Obama. “Iowans vote for politicians who support Iowa,” Hach said.
He comes from a long line of German business owners, and Hach has turned three formerly vacant storefronts in a small, northwest Iowa town into an award-winning company that employs 26 people and builds testing equipment for wind farms.
But Hach was out working for his party’s opponent, President Barack Obama, at the Iowa State Fair last weekend, after a TV commercial for the Democratic president was shot in his Alta, Iowa, business a couple of weeks back.
He’s turned his back on the GOP nominee because Mitt Romney opposes the continuation of a key federal incentive for wind power development, saying that wind energy should stand on its own without subsidies.
Ah, but not to worry, Mr. Hach! Mitt Romney has rarely met an issue he’s not willing to jettison in the face of political opposition.
Yes, Romney opposes extending the PTC. Or, rather, did. Then the Des Moines Register broke with recent tradition and endorsed a Republican. Then polls showed a close race. And then Democrats and green groups started hitting Romney on the issue. And suddenly, Mitt is willing to moderate his position.
From the Times Green blog:
[W]hile campaigning on Friday in Iowa, a state with a lot of wind business, Mr. Romney seemed to be opening the door to a different position — or at least allowing himself some wiggle room should a compromise be found. “We will support nuclear and renewables but phase out subsidies once an industry is on its feet,” he said, without offering more specifics.
So what does that mean? Up to you to figure out, Iowa voter! Maybe you want to support Mitt Romney because you traditionally vote Republican. Well, hopefully this tilts you back into the fold. Or maybe you hate wind power and people employed in the wind industry. Well, feel free to read into this that Romney will kill wind energy.
Sometimes, when you shake an Etch-a-Sketch, you just leave it blank. Then people can imagine whatever wonderful images they want.