Romney Now a Windbagger. In Battleground Iowa, That’s a Problem
August 4, 2012
Now that Mitt Romney’s campaign has officially declared the candidate’s desire to kill tax credits for wind while maintaining tax credits for the mature oil and gas industries, Midwestern Republicans are not happy.
Mitt Romney hasn’t made his position clear on a lot of things, but he’s come out quite strongly now as an enemy of renewable energy and wind power in particular.
In Iowa, more than 20 percent powered by wind – with over 80 percent approval by the people that know this energy best – being a Windbagger may not be good politics.
The Obama campaign video above picks up on this issue.
Speaking of Romney’s stand, Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad told Radio Iowa that the Mittster’s campaign was being shaped by a bunch of folks that “need to get out here in the real world and find out what’s really going on.”
In the real world, 7000 Iowa jobs are in wind energy. Even ultra-right wing tea party nut job Steve King told the Wall Street Journal - “We need to win Iowa this time. President Obama thinks it’s a must-win state for him, and I think it’s a can-win state for Mitt Romney, but this wind piece.…”
He faded off without finishing the sentence — unsure what Romney’s stance on wind will do to the candidate’s political prospects. The Journal also reported on a new poll that shows “More than half of voters (57%), including 41% of Republicans and 59% of Independents, would be less likely to vote for a candidate for President if that candidate did not support expanding American wind power generation.”
AWEA this week expressed disappointment that the Romney campaign has come out with an anti-wind stance, particularly in Iowa, the state that gets 20 percent of its power from wind and the state with more major manufacturing facilities than any other.
According to a statement to the Des Moines Register, the presidential candidate supports letting the popular and bipartisan wind industry Production Tax Credit expire at the end of this year. On Thursday, subsequent to the Des Moines Register statement, the Senate Finance Committee passed an extenders package that included an extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) (see top story).
A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for AWEA shows that “an overwhelming majority of Iowa voters would be less likely to support an anti-wind candidate for office.”
Key findings from the Iowa poll include:
- Iowa voters are less likely to vote for candidates who do not support expanding wind power generation.
- Iowans are supportive of using renewable energy sources like wind energy to meet the growth in America’s energy needs.
- Iowans, particularly Independents, believe that wind energy has been good for the state’s economy and has helped to create jobs in the state.
The full poll memo can be found here.
More on Wind in the real world below: