Thu May 24, 2012

President Obama Calls for Wind Tax Credit Extension

On the campaign trail, President Obama is renewing calls on Congress to extend a popular tax credit on wind energy production. 

After visiting Colorado and California Wednesday, Mr. Obama is touring a wind blade manufacturer in Iowa today, according to Bloomberg News

The president is making his third visit to Iowa this year after wrapping up four fundraisers in a two-day swing to three states, collecting more than $2.5 million. In the last fundraiser this morning in San Jose, California, about 20 people paid $35,800 a ticket. Iowa is one of nine critical swing states that was won by Republican Bush in 2004 and switched to Democrat Obama in 2008.

In Colorado, another battleground state, the impasse over the wind energy tax credit is also being closely watched.  Companies like Vestas Wind Systems have threatened mass layoffs if the credit expires as it’s scheduled to at the end of the year.

The wind energy tax credit has led to a boom and bust cycle in the industry – as it’s had an on again and off again ride in Congress. But it’s had bipartisan support recently. In fact all but one member of Colorado’s delegation has publicly championed it.

Speaking in Denver Wednesday, Mr. Obama hailed this fact and said Colorado is poised for a renewable energy boom.

"Your governor and your mayors have been leaders in this, your congressional delegation they understand now is not the time to cut these investments to pay for four billion dollars a year in giveaways to the oil companies," Mr. Obama said.

At that fundraiser in the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the president went on to call for an end to subsidies for "big oil," a pitch he was also expected to make today in Iowa.

Wind companies across the country and in Colorado say they’ve already canceled many new orders for next year, due to the uncertain fate of the tax credit.