Governor Terry Branstad joined counterparts from three other states who are part of the Governor’s Wind Energy Coalition in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to call for a multi-year extension of the wind energy tax credit. Branstad is the chair of the bipartisan coalition of 28 governors.
“Significant private sector investment in wind energy has occurred because of the support of both the federal and state policies. Our state has been the beneficiary of that, as have many states in this country,” Branstad said. Branstad, a Republican, said Iowa has already seen a negative economic impact over the uncertainty of the extension of the credit.
“As an example, in Iowa, Siemens has already announced the layoff of 400 workers at their plant in Fort Madison, Iowa,” according to Branstad. “And Clipper Wind Power laid off a hundred workers at their plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.” Branstad said they would like to see the Lame Duck Congress take action on the tax credit.
“We’re very hopeful in the wake of the election that people will recognize we all need to work together. Just as the governors are working together, we want to see the Congressional leadership — House and Senate and the administration — all work together to see that these key things are extended,” Branstad said.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley hosted the news conference with the governors. Grassley, a Republican, said Governor Branstad and others believe the wind industry will become mature and the credits can be scaled back in a matter of four year.
“We have a 20 year investment in this. It would be terrible to throw away that 20-year investment…if it will be a mature industry in just a short period of time,” Grassley said. Governor Branstad said that Iowa now gets 20-percent of its power from wind and the environmental impact is important along with the economic impact of the wind energy industry.
Governor Branstad was joined by Governors Democrat John Kitzhaber of Oregon, Republican Sam Brownback of Kansas and Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado in the discussion of the wind energy tax credit.