Wind Tax Credit: The Perfect Storm
The wind power industry is laying off workers. Over 1,292 workers have been laid off in the primary wind manufacturing companies. The reason? The tax break the industry received decades ago is coming to an end. December 31, the wind companies will have to pay their full amount of income tax. Interestingly in a few swing states—Iowa, Colorado and Ohio for example—the wind industry play a significant part in their overall economy. In Iowa the wind company supplies 3,200 manufacturing jobs, Ohio has 50 manufacturing companies already, and in Colorado it supplies 3,000 jobs. The impacts on the economy will be as drastic as the impact of the failing car companies.
What do the Presidential candidates have to say about the wind tax credit? As expected, both candidates have stuck to their parties on this one. What about the Republicans? Since the tax credit costs $3.3 billion dollars, it will be too costly during an election year. Talking from the left, Obama says, “Without these wind energy tax credits, a whole lot of these jobs would be at risk.” Because 81% of wind power in the USA is generated in congressional districts currently held by Republicans, Romney’s conservative position puts them in a bind.
For the Republicans, the wind tax credit cant be weathered. It is a yes or no issue, but the facts are obvious. The more sustainable energy we have the less CO2 we emit. If the wind companies go out of business, then we will be forced to process more oil; if we process more oil, we will have more emissions. To bring up global warming and say out right “Global warming is happening and changes need to be made NOW” is political suicide. But maybe a person who will put that speech forward is what we need. We need a martyr to show us the way to reverse the destructive path we are on.