For the second time in three years, President Obama will visit a manufacturing plant in Newton. According to White House press secretary Jay Carney, the event will highlight the president’s call on congress to extend federal tax credits for the wind energy industry.
“As with all the items on the ‘to do’ list, this one has enjoyed bipartisan support in the past,” Carney said this week during a White House briefing. “We certainly expect and hope that it will garner that same support moving forward.”
Heather Zichal is an assistant to the president who focuses on energy policy. “The production tax credit, which expires at the end of this year, provides a credit per kilowatt hour for utility-scale wind energy producers,” she says. “…The advanced wind energy manufacturers credit provides a 30% credit to manufacturers who invest in capital equipment to make components for clean energy projects in the United States.”
Two days ago, Zichal and other Obama Administration officials met with 14 executives from the wind energy industry at the White House to discuss extending those tax credits. This afternoon, the president will visit TPI Composites in Newton, a company that makes the blades for wind turbines.
“They employ 700 workers and it demonstrates how important the production tax credit has been not only to the success of their industry but, looking forward, to their continued success,” Zichal says. The C.E.O. of the Newton company says orders for wind turbines have started to decline already because of uncertainty surrounding the tax credit.
In 2009, Obama visited Trinity Structural Towers in Newton, touring the production floor where the huge columns that support wind turbines are made. This is Obama’s third visit to Iowa in 2012, an indication of the state’s crucial role in November’s election.
The president will hold a rally with supporters this evening in Des Moines.