President Obama used the backdrop of an Iowa wind-energy manufacturing plant Thursday to ramp up pressure on Congress to extend an expiring tax break that has been vital to financing new power projects.
Extension of the wind-energy production tax credit — which is slated to lapse at year’s end — is part of a short “to do list” of actions Obama says Congress could do quickly to help the economy.
Obama, speaking at TPI Composites, noted that domestic manufacturing, rather than imports, of various wind turbine parts now supports many facilities in 43 states employing tens of thousands of workers.
“So we’re making progress. But I’m here today because that progress is in jeopardy,” Obama said at the plant in Newton, Iowa, that makes wind turbine blades.“If Congress doesn’t act, those tax credits I mentioned — the ones that helped to build up the wind industry and bring it here to Newton — will expire. If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit. Jobs will be lost. That’s not a guess. That’s a fact. And we can’t let that happen,” Obama said, according to his prepared remarks.
“That’s a fact. And we can’t let that happen. We can’t walk away from these jobs. Congress should extend these tax credits, and they should do it now,” he added in the speech that noted Iowa supports more wind power jobs than any other state.
The wind power industry and supply-chain companies are lobbying hard for an extension of the credits, arguing that uncertainty about the incentives is already hurting the sector and that some layoffs have begun.