It seems as if Republican candidate Mitt Romney is going to make President Barack Obama’s green jobs initiative a central component of his presidential campaign. The former Governor of Massachussetts has been scathing in his criticism about the way Obama has used green jobs as a primary solution for getting the economy out of recession.
Romney has scored some political points using the ill-fated solar power manufacturer Solyndra as an example, but it seems that his campaign have gone a step too far after a spokesman suggested they should allow the tax break expire at the end of the year for wind energy.
It is a suggestion which is even enraged Republican senators and representatives who are fully aware of the amount of jobs wind energy has so far produced. In Iowa alone, a key swing state, 7000 people owe their livelihoods to thie renewable energy source. Republican senator Chuck Grassley voted for the extension along with five other Republicans in the Senate’s Finance Committee while Representative Tom Latham criticized the Romney spokesman for:
“A lack of full understanding of how important the wind energy tax credit is for Iowa and our nation.”
Romney is trying to court conservative voters with this stance on green jobs and I think in any case, even if he was elected, he would not consider making such drastic changes in green policy. The reason being is how many jobs would actually be lost if such a decision to cease tax breaks was actually made. According to the American Wind Energy Association as many as 37,000 jobs could be lost if the tax credit was ended this year. The irony is the credit was introduced by George H.W Bush in 1992 and renewed by George W.Bush in 2005.
Making such comments was ill advised anyway for within the key state of Iowa, over half of voters would oppose any presidential candidate who wouldn’t support the expansion of wind power, while back in March, a poll by Gallup showed that Americans across the country favored renewable energy twice as much as fossil fuel power like oil, coal and gas. Not only would it be unpopular, lose the country jobs but it would also allow other countries to seize the initiative away from the US according to the Obama campaign:
“Mitt Romney would slash investments in clean energy, which would cede leadership of these critical sectors of our economy to competitors like China and India — and the jobs that go with them.”
It is not too hard to see which side of the debate is winning the argument is it?