President Barack Obama will visit wind blade producer TPI Composites in Newton on Thursday and talk about getting congress to pass tax credits for clean energy. The C.E.O. of TPI, Steve Lockard, says tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs will be lost if congress fails to extend the wind industry’s production tax credit that’s set to expire at the end of the year.
Lockard says orders for wind turbines have already started to decline because of the uncertainty surrounding the credit. “There’s real risk across the industry, not hollow risk, very real monthly job loss across the industry that (has) started to happen already, and will continue each month through this year if congress is unable to act on our behalf,” Lockard says.
A report released last month indicates Iowa has up to seven-thousand people working in the wind industry, which is more than any other state. TPI’s blade production plant in Newton employs about 700 people, while another 100 employees make wind turbine towers at Trinity Structural Towers.
By Randy Van, KCOB, Newton