Skip to main content

Wind turbines on Iowa farm
Wind turbines on Iowa farm.
Mitt Romney has been dissing wind power—in fact, renewable energy generally— for quite some time. He was at it again just last week in, of all places, Iowa. That state generates nearly 20 percent of its electricity from wind turbines, the highest rate in the nation, and boasts 7,000 wind-industry jobs, from maintenance to manufacturing.

An 85 percent majority of Iowans say the wind industry has been good for Iowa, and 59 percent of independents as well as 41 percent of Republicans in the state say they would be less likely to back a presidential candidate who does not support expanding the use of wind as a power source.

Sen. Charles Grassley, Gov. Terry Branstad and Rep. Tom Latham are among the Iowans saying wind power is a good thing.

Perhaps Romney belatedly caught wind of all this and made one of his patented U-turns Wednesday as his campaign again took him to Iowa:

We have got to take advantage of America’s extraordinary energy resources: coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, wind, solar, ethanol, you name it. We’ve gotta take advantage of all of them.

Boilerplate. But still a change from what he's been saying for months.

Romney specifically noted last week that the production tax credit—which subsidizes wind, solar and geothermal power facilities—should be allowed to expire at the end of the year. The industry should sink or swim on its own and compete on a level playing field. Yet he is on record as supporting long-standing subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power. How level is that?

Wind power is not pie in the sky. Not a maybe thing in the far-off future. As I noted Sunday:

Iowa isn't the only state getting a high proportion of its electricity from the wind. South Dakota is first, with 22 percent. North Dakota, Minnesota and Wyoming all get at least 10 percent of theirs that way. All told, wind has an installed generating capacity of 49 gigawatts in the U.S., about 4.3 percent of the nation's total. Wind generated slightly more than 3 percent of total U.S. electricity in the United States during the 12-month period ending in May this year.

That may not seem like much. But a decade ago, it was one-tenth that. Phenomenal growth.

And that growth can go a lot farther. Many analysts say it could generate 20 percent or more of the electricity consumed by the whole nation.

But the gains made so far wouldn't have happened without the production tax credit. And that credit needs another five to 10 years to complete the task it was set up for in the first place, to give renewable energy industries a boost until it becomes self-sustaining. That's the same kind of boost the coal, and oil and nuclear energy industries have gotten.

Romney is now making fluffy remarks about supporting an energy buffet. But as he knows better than most, words don't mean anything until they have money behind them. Without disavowing his previous remarks against the production tax credit, Romney is just spouting hot air on renewable energy and sticking to the fossil fuelery that makes so many of his campaign contributors happy.

•••

HoundDog has a discussion in his post on the subject.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 10:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site