At a campaign event in Colorado today, President Barack Obama expressed his support for the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) and bashed Mitt Romney for opposing the incentive that has become so critical to the U.S. wind industry.
Speaking at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, Colo. – the town home to Vestas' tower manufacturing facility – the president had some harsh words about his opponent and his anti-PTC stance.
‘At a moment when homegrown energy – renewable energy – is creating new jobs in states like Colorado and Iowa, my opponent wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers,’ Obama told the crowd, which responded with boos for Romney's position.
The president drew a huge round of applause when he expressed his support for wind energy and the PTC.
"The wind industry supports about 5,000 jobs across this state," Obama said. "Without those tax credits, 37,000 American jobs, including potentially hundreds of jobs right here, would be at risk. Colorado, it's time to stop spending billions in taxpayer subsidies on an oil industry that's already making a lot of profit, and let's keep investing in new energy sources that have never been more promising."
Colorado is also home to three other Vestas manufacturing plants. In January, the Denmark-headquartered company laid off 2,335 employees (mostly in Europe) and said it would eliminate 1,600 more positions in the U.S. if the PTC were not renewed. The company said it would make its decision on the U.S. layoffs this quarter.
The state is also home to Broomfield-based wind energy developer RES Americas, which says PTC uncertainty has already caused the company to move some of its resources to Canada.
‘We have been directly affected in the short term by uncertainty surrounding the PTC, and as a result, we've made budgetary cutbacks and redirected resources to our Canadian operations," Susan Reilly, CEO of RES Americas, tells NAW.
In addition to continued support from the president, Colorado's wind energy sector has strong backing from Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who has been one of Congress' most ardent supporters of wind power and the PTC. To date, Udall has made 15 speeches on the Senate floor to urge a quick extension of the tax credit, as well as co-introduced legislation to renew it.Â