Romney Brings Anti-wind Energy Message to Iowa as States Largest Newspaper says PTC should be Extended

The League of Conservation Voters issued the following news release:

Mitt Romney today will make his first campaign stop in Iowa since breaking with the state’s entire Congressional delegation and coming out in opposition to renewing the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy. The state’s largest newspaper criticized Romney’s extreme position earlier this week, which could cost the state thousands of jobs.

“Mitt Romney is virtually the only person in the state that thinks ending tax incentives for wind energy is a good idea,” said Navin Nayak, LCV Senior Vice President for Campaigns.

The Iowa Wind Energy Association has said that ending the PTC “could mean the loss of several thousand jobs” in Iowa. Nationally, the wind trade group estimates that letting the PTC expire will cost 37,000 jobs.

The Romney campaign announced his plan to let the PTC expire to the Des Moines Register last week. The paper noted that his position puts him at odds with leaders from both parties, including Iowa’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and the state’s entire congressional delegation, who all recognize the important economic role the PTC plays. The state’s senior Senator, Republican Charles Grassley, is pushing Romney to answer for his opposition to the tax credit.

Last week, the Register’s editorial board argued that the PTC should be extended, writing, “Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, may have tilted at the wrong windmills when he said he would allow wind energy tax credits to expire.” The editorial noted that Iowa ranks second in the nation in wind generation, and that “it employs more people than any other state building and maintaining wind towers and turbines.”

Romney has advocated ending the PTC while continuing to give Big Oil billions in taxpayer-subsided handouts. In April, the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund and Priorities USA Action partnered to release a television ad titled “$200 Million Man” to highlight Romney’s pledge to protect Big Oil at the expense of middle class Americans.