"We got to take advantage of all of America's energy sources," Romney said, launching into a list that included coal, natural gas, solar energy and wind. But Romney did not delve into his campaign's stated opposition to the wind tax credits that have provided a small energy boon in the state.
"If I'm president, I'm going to be committed to all energy sources," Romney said, "above or below ground." Romney criticized President Barack Obama's support for solar and wind energy, which was intended to create millions of jobs, none of which he has seen. "His ideas about energy are simply out-of-date," Romney said. "We're applying policies from the past that just don't work."
"Unfortunately, under President Obama's approach of massive subsidies and handouts, the industry has lost 10,000 jobs while growth in wind power has slowed every single year of his term," said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg.
The Romney campaign announced Monday that the candidate would allow the wind PTC to expire as scheduled at the end of the year, rather than pursue gradually phasing out the program. While aides had previously said Romney hoped to end the PTC, he had never outlined a specific plan for doing so.
A Romney spokesman explained the candidate's opposition to extending the tax credit, due to expire at the end of the year, to the Des Moines Register. "Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney's Iowa campaign, told The Des Moines Register, 'He 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. "'Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results.' "
Romney joins a number of other Republicans in opposing the tax break, under the argument that it costs too much -- around $1.6 billion this year -- and props up businesses with government subsidies.
Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, caused a stir in Iowa when his campaign made clear that he would allow the wind tax credit to expire. A campaign official said Thursday that Mr. Romney does not think that government should prop up industries. “Industries succeed when they are pushed by market forces and competition to become more efficient and effective, not when they are shaped by and dependent on government support,” the official said.
Mitt Romney would end a tax credit for wind energy producers if he's elected, his campaign confirmed to the Des Moines Register Monday, setting a clear contrast with President Barack Obama on the issue.
“Mitt Romney believes it is time for a new approach to ensure our nation’s energy independence,” the spokesman, Shawn McCoy, told The Des Moines Register. “He 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.”
Romney specifically noted last week that the production tax credit—which subsidizes wind, solar and geothermal power facilities—should be allowed to expire at the end of the year. The industry should sink or swim on its own and compete on a level playing field. Yet he is on record as supporting long-standing subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power.