On January 24, 2012, AWEA issued a press release stating that several media outlets were reporting that President Obama would mention wind power and manufacturing jobs in his State of the Union address this evening, including reports that Bryan Ritterby of American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) member company Energetx Composites of Holland, MI will be First Lady Michelle Obama’s guest for the speech.
This would mark the fifth time wind power has been mentioned in the SOTU in the last decade, by President George W. Bush in 2006 and 2007 and previously by President Obama in 2009 and 2011.
Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), issued the following statement that day as background for reporters covering the speech.
“Wind energy is one of the few sources of agreement in a divided Washington. But with an expiration of wind’s key federal incentive, the Production Tax Credit (PTC), looming at the end of the year, these good manufacturing jobs are in peril.
Wind energy has installed more than a third of all new electric generation in this country in recent years and is powering one of America’s fastest growing manufacturing sectors. Over the last six years, U.S. domestic production of wind turbine components has grown 12-fold, to more than 400 facilities in 43 states. And with stable tax policy wind power is poised to grow to almost 100,000 jobs in just four years and stay on track toward supporting 500,000 jobs by 2030 according to forecasts by the George W. Bush administration.
Wind power is on schedule to generate 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030 and already generates 20 percent of the electricity in Iowa and South Dakota. And this success story is spreading all across the U.S.
However, with uncertainty over the PTC, layoffs have already begun and studies have forecast they will increase with each month we near expiration.
Fortunately, a growing bipartisan coalition understands this urgency. Political and business leaders including more than a dozen Republican cosponsors and groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, Edison Electric Institute and American Farm Bureau Federation realize that wind power is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is a manufacturing jobs issue. Extending the PTC will keep these good American manufacturing jobs here and keep providing a new source of clean, affordable energy to American consumers.”
Link to article from AWEA’s site.