Obama aide calls wind-tax credit fight ‘huge’ in Colorado
President Obama’s campaign is seeking political mileage in Colorado from his push to extend wind energy tax credits that GOP rival Mitt Romney wants to let expire.
“The issue of clean energy and specifically the recent wind-tax credit debate is … a huge issue in Colorado,” campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday en route to Colorado, a battleground state where Obama is campaigning this week.
Obama’s two-day Colorado swing includes a stop Thursday in Pueblo, where Danish wind-energy giant Vestas has a big manufacturing plant.
“One of the places we’re going tomorrow — Pueblo — that town is one of the towns that will be impacted if the wind tax credit is not continued, because Vestas, the company that has been mentioned in a number of recent news stories, their CEO has said they would have to lay off 1,700 workers — a lot of them would be in Pueblo, a small town,” Psaki told reporters on Air Force One, according to a transcript.
“So this is another topic, in addition to talking about women today, that the president will be talking about over the course of the next two days,” she said.
The production tax credit will expire at year’s end, and Obama is pushing Congress to extend it. Romney, the presumptive GOP White House nominee, came out firmly in opposition to the credit’s extension last week, creating a stark contrast with Obama on the matter.
Wind-industry officials say uncertainty about the incentive’s future is already causing layoffs along the wind energy supply chain. New wind-power installations have fallen off sharply when the credit has been allowed to lapse, which last occurred in 2004.