NewEnergyNews: WIND INCENTIVE OPPONENTS CALLED UNPATRIOTIC

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    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    WIND INCENTIVE OPPONENTS CALLED UNPATRIOTIC

    Will the Tea Party Destroy an American Industry to Weaken President Obama?

    Carl Pope, July 15, (Huffington Post)

    “…Brazil this year is importing hundreds of wind turbine blades on freighters from Duluth. Great Plains demand for wind power had grown so much that LM Wind Power had built a turbine blade factory in Grand Forks, N.D., and Duluth was exporting not only taconite, but turbine blades.. Now the Grand Forks blades have found an export market -- yet another proof that manufacturing follows markets, and that if the U.S. keeps building demand for energy innovation products, we can buils a mighty manufacturing economy behind those markets.”

    “…[B]usiness and civil leaders…believe that the U.S. has the technological innovation, work force, and resources (including cheap natural gas) to regain our leadership -- if we can get policy right…But…politics is getting ready to reverse the Duluth success story…Wind energy has been one of the fastest growing sectors of the American economy, even during the Recession. One of the key financing tools for wind developers, the Production Tax Credit, expires at the end of the 2012. (Equivalent financial mechanisms for coal, oil and gas, of course, do not expire -- they got theirs first.) And in spite of bi-partisan support from members of Congress from wind leadership states like Colorado, the Tea Party Republican Leadership seems determined to let the PTC expire to hurt Obama's re-election chances.

    “As a result factories are shutting down, thousands of workers are being laid off, and the market dynamic that brought wind manufacturing to Grand Forks is unraveling…Thoughtful representatives and senators have tried everything…[T]he Production Tax Credit is widely supported…[It] has the support of Texas business leaders, an oil company (BP), and governors all over the country -- but nothing has swayed the determination of the Tea Party…[E]nvironmental organizations including the Sierra Club, American Wind Energy Association and The Pew Charitable Trusts are asking Americans to contact their elected officials and encourage them to renew the wind energy PTC and protect tens of thousands of green jobs…[E]conomists warn that extending the credit after the election, which seems to be the plan of many Republican leaders, will be too late for the factories and jobs.”

    “This behavior is unprecedented -- and unpatriotic. Business, workers and communities -- and our environment -- are being needlessly and severely harmed, simply to make a political point. No Congress in my lifetime has acted this way, however badly a president's opponents loathed him. Voters should not forgive members of Congress who hurt the country to help their electoral chances -- and do so intentionally. But voter accountability for politicians won't save the jobs and livelihoods that are going down all over America this summer in the wind supply chain…”

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