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.”

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA):

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:


14 Responses to “Romney Now a Windbagger. In Battleground Iowa, That’s a Problem”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    Romney is an unprincipled chameleon. He’ll find a way to be for wind, against wind, neutral to wind, positively behind wind while opposing wind, all at the same time.

    • skeptictmac57 Says:

      So, which ever way the wind is blowing,it must be blowing positive for Romney…sounds like he is weather vain.

  2. livinginabox Says:

    This really is a ‘no-brainer’, presumably Mitt Romney’s brain is in stand-by. Or perhaps he left it in some foreign tax-haven.
    Apparently, fossil-fuel subsidies in 2012 are at least $775 bn.

    Surely, that subsidy needs to be tapered and according to the video, only a small fraction needs to go to wind power, of course other renewable energy industries need subsidies too.

    The question is why the fossil-fuel industry still gets subsidies? Perhaps so they can spend some of it on corrupt politicians.

  3. Windmills kill nearly half a million birds a year, according to a Fish and Wildlife estimate. The American Bird Conservancy projected that the number could more than double in 20 years if the administration realizes its goal for wind power. For years, the wind energy industry has had a license to kill golden eagles and lots of other migratory birds.
    Over the past two decades, the federal government has prosecuted hundreds of cases against oil and gas producers and electricity producers for violating some of America’s oldest wildlife-protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Protection Act.
    But the Obama administration has never prosecuted the wind industry despite myriad examples of widespread, unpermitted bird kills by turbines.
    Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles are being killed per year by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass, about 20 miles east of Oakland, Calif. A 2008 study funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency estimated that about 2,400 raptors, including burrowing owls, American kestrels, and red-tailed hawks—as well as about 7,500 other birds, nearly all of which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—are being killed every year by the turbines at Altamont.
    So keep on pushing on this “green energy” while species are going extinct because people refuse to see the main reason why we are running out of fuel: OVERPOPULATION. We shouldn’t focus on how we can rape our planet of more resources we should focus on reducing the world population and then all the problems will be solved.
    Check this out:

    • greenman3610 Says:

      your suggestion that we read up on the “voluntary Human extinction” movement won’t win many converts.
      even if the number of bird kills by turbines is double your estimate, it would be no more than a rounding
      error compared to the number of birds killed by building collisions, radio masts, cars, urban development
      and land use, and house cats – which are high up in the billions of birds.
      That’s leaving aside the wildlife impacts of coal strip mines, oil wells, gas tracking, the occasional
      catastrophic gulf oil spill – and the totally predictable wars for oil that we’ve been
      having over the last several decades.
      Most wind impacts come from just a few poorly thought out installations, can be addressed by siting and other mitigation strategies, and are in any
      case minor. Your dream of seeing the human species go extinct is indeed consistent with your
      hatred of renewable energy. Thanks for making that clear.

    • mrsircharles Says:

      Here an excerpt of Peter’s videos dealing with “Wind turbines and birds”.


  4. […] News pundits, tea party wind baggers, and even certain Presidential candidates, have attempted to demonize anything that would curtail the planet’s thirst for fossil […]

  5. Wind energy advocates are mindful of avian bird fatalities, especially among raptors. With experience, wind farm operation and siting has been modified to reduce avian collisions. While it is obvious that the resource demands of seven billion people have extraordinary consequences for the world ecosystems, it is unrealistic to assume this population number will drastically decrease soon. Taking a balanced perspective and looking at the overall impact of all sources of energy and the effects of human disruption (cats, power lines, cell phone towers, buildings, pesticides, pollution, habitat destruction, mining, ….) shows wind energy has vastly lower impact. Given our current situation, it makes sense to concentrate on the major causes of avian fatalities
    like cats, buildings (billions) rather than wind turbines ( tens of thousands). While raptor fatalities are a concern, and wind facilities are responding by reducing them, it will do little to change the overall fatality rates, since the fatalities from other sources are four to five magnitudes larger. While raptor fatalities are a concern, their numbers appear to be associated with just a few of the older early wind sites, with new sites contributing much lower numbers. Referring to some of the same sources such as Fish and Wildlife, or doing a web search shows the most common human caused bird fatalities have to do with oil spills, mine tailings, pesticides, picture windows, tall buildings, and so on. An obsession with bird deaths from wind energy seems misplaced in the context of the number of bird deaths that would occur from the alternatives that create worse hazards, such as oil spills. Let’s not play into the hands of extremists who would rather have big coal and oil because we are obsessed with the fantasy of a utopian world that does not exist. A future world will need a balance of measures to deal with population growth and ecological awareness to overcome the challenges. horizon.

    • skeptictmac57 Says:

      Coincidentally (maybe) I had an almost identical blog post come up on my Trapit feed this morning attacking windpower in general,then launching into a pseudo-conservationist diatribe about how wind turbines are ‘bird Cuisinarts’ and are anything but eco friendly.The blog had a kind of homeland security/tea-partyish vibe to it,but the conservation slant seems purely a rhetorical device to show just how hypocritical the ‘alarmists’ are.
      New talking point for denialists?

      • greenman3610 Says:

        not all that new – but being frequently deployed, and a lot of well meaning people get taken in.
        using the language of environmentalism to shill for nature rapers is one of the most odious of the crimes denialists are willing to stoop to.

  6. […] News pundits, tea party wind baggers, and even certain Presidential candidates, have attempted to demonize anything that would […]

  7. “Very well, if that is the way the winds are blowing, let no one say I don’t also blow.” – Mayor Joe Quimby/Mitt Romney

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