Mitt Romney’s campaign said Monday that he wants longstanding tax credits that help finance wind energy projects to expire at year’s end, providing a stark political contrast with President Obama, who is pushing Congress to renew the incentive.
Campaign aides confirmed that Romney wants the quick demise of the credits, which will lapse in less than six months absent congressional action, ending uncertainty about how he wants to phase out the credits.
“He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,” Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, said in a statement to The Des Moines Register.
“Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results,” McCoy said.
A Romney campaign aide confirmed to E2-Wire that Romney, the presumptive GOP White House nominee, wants the credit to expire at the end of this year.
The statement is significant because while a campaign surrogate said earlier in July that Romney “thinks these kinds of technology-specific incentives are a bad idea,” the surrogate nonetheless said Romney had not decided how the incentive should be “wound down” and suggested that Romney might be open to a limited extension.
The wind industry calls the production tax credit vital to financing new power projects, and says uncertainty about its future is already spurring layoffs along the wind energy supply chain and that tens of thousands of jobs are at risk.
President Obama and top administration officials have repeatedly called for extension of the credit in recent months.
The number of new wind power installations have fallen off sharply in the past when the credit has been allowed to lapse, which last happened in 2004.
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