Obama said the wind industry is growing. He said the U.S. used to have a few dozen wind industry manufacturing facilities, adding "today we have nearly 500 facilities in 43 states employing tens of thousands of American workers." "So we're making progress," Obama said. "But I'm here today...because the progress is in jeopardy."
The wind industry in Iowa has "taken off," the president said while visiting a company that manufactures blades for wind turbines. He said progress in the industry is in "jeopardy" because a tax credit used by the wind industry is expiring at the end of the year. He also continued his criticism of Republicans in Congress for not supporting his economic ideas. The tax credits are part of the president's "to-do" list, a series of ideas--from tax breaks to measures to help homeowners refinance their mortgages--to help jump-start economic growth.
“The wind industry supports about 5,000 jobs across this state,” Mr. Obama told about 3,500 people crammed into a cavernous building on the state fairgrounds in Pueblo. “Without those tax credits, 37,000 American jobs, potentially including hundreds of jobs right here, would be at risk.” With the crowd’s applause drowning out his words, Mr. Obama said the country should stop spending $4 billion a year to subsidize a profitable oil industry and should instead invest in the promise of clean-energy alternatives to compete with China and other countries.
Obama continued his recent habit of asserting projections as fact. Obama said, "This plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector, jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges, constructing wind turbines and solar panels, laying broadband and expanding mass transit."
It was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract natural gas out of shale rock--reminding us that Government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground. Our experience with shale gas shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don't always come right away. Some technologies don't pan out; some companies fail.
But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough. It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that's rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that's never been more promising.
Obama highlighted his support for tax credits for wind energy manufacturers in Colorado and other states. The credit, which helps offset the cost of electricity production during a wind farm's first 10 years, is set to expire Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it. Obama supports extending the credit; Romney does not. "At a moment when homegrown energy, renewable energy, is creating new jobs in states like Colorado and Iowa, my opponent wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers," Obama told a crowd at the Colorado State Fairgrounds. Without the tax credits, as many as 37,000 American jobs, including hundreds in Colorado, are at risk, Obama said, using figures from a study financed by the wind industry.
"Think about what that would mean for a community like Pueblo. The wind industry supports about 5,000 jobs across this state. Without those tax credits, 37,000 American jobs, including potentially hundreds of jobs right here, would be at risk. Colorado, it's time to stop spending billions in taxpayer subsidies on an oil industry that's already making a lot of profit — (applause) — and let's keep investing in new energy sources that have never been more promising. That's the choice in this election. That's why I'm running for president."
But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.
As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a recovery plan by President’s Day that would put people back to work and put money in their pockets. Not because I believe in bigger government – I don’t. Not because I’m not mindful of the massive debt we’ve inherited – I am. I called for action because the failure to do so would have cost more jobs and caused more hardships. In fact, a failure to act would have worsened our long-term deficit by assuring weak economic growth for years. That’s why I pushed for quick action. And tonight, I am grateful that this Congress delivered, and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law. Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.
Renewing the PTC has been a top priority for the President because he views the American wind industry as an American success story. Over the past few years – thanks in part to the PTC – this industry has flourished. Today, we have enough wind capacity to power 10 million homes across the country. In 2011, which was a banner year for the industry, nearly one-third of all new power capacity in the United States came from wind.