WASHINGTON—Wind energy was mentioned six times in last night's presidential debate, three by each candidate, and all favorably. While debating how to improve job growth and the economy, both candidates made sure to talk about their support for wind power.
Their comments illustrate why the wind industry believes we have the bipartisan support to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) during the lame duck session of Congress next month after the election. Whoever is president will want to preserve the 37,000 jobs, half of all those in U.S. wind energy, that Navigant Consulting forecasts will be lost if the tax credit for wind power were to be allowed to expire on Dec. 31.
Here were the mentions of wind energy last night, from the debate transcript:
President Obama: Number three, we've got to control our own energy, you know, not only oil and natural gas, which we've been investing in, but also we've got to make sure we're building the energy sources of the future, not just thinking about next year, but 10 years from now, 20 years from now. That's why we've invested in solar and wind and biofuels, energy-efficient cars.
President Obama: But what I've also said is we can't just produce traditional sources of energy; we've also got to look to the future. That's why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. That means that in the middle of the next decade, any car you buy, you're going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas. That's why we've doubled clean energy production like wind and solar and biofuels. And all these things have contributed to us lowering our oil imports to the lowest levels in 16 years.
Governor Romney: I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables. I believe very much in our renewable capabilities — ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix. But what we don't need is to have the president keeping us from taking advantage of oil, coal and gas.
President Obama: What I'm not for is us ignoring the other half of the quotation. So for example, on wind energy, when Governor Romney says these are imaginary jobs, when you've got thousands of people right now in Iowa, right now in Colorado who are working, creating wind power, with good- paying manufacturing jobs, and the Republican senator in that — in Iowa is all for it, providing tax credits to help this work and Governor Romney says, I'm opposed, I'd get rid of it, that's not an energy strategy for the future. And we need to win that future, and I intend to win it as president of the United States.
Governor Romney: Candy, Candy, Candy, I don't have a policy of — of stopping wind jobs in Iowa and that — they're not phantom jobs. They're real jobs.
Governor Romney: I appreciate wind jobs in Iowa and across our country. I appreciate the jobs in coal and oil and gas. I'm going to make sure that taking advantage of our energy resources will bring back manufacturing to America. We're going to get through a very aggressive energy policy, 3.5 million more jobs in this country. It's critical to our future.
For more bipartisan endorsements of wind energy, and information about the jobs and clean energy at stake in the decision over continuing the Production Tax Credit, please see www.SaveUSAWindJobs.com.