Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Responds to Wall Street Journal Editorial

Source: Gov. Terry Branstad • Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wind-Generated Energy Is Working Well for Us in Iowa

Letters to the Editor:

Your recent editorials on the federal wind-energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and renewable portfolio standard (RPS) (“Gouged by the Wind,” May 5 and “Windy Republicans,” May 7) are off the mark. The wind-power industry is an American success story that is helping us build our manufacturing base, create jobs, lower energy costs and strengthen our energy security.

As a country, we should support energy diversity and development of all domestic resources, creating an “all of the above” energy strategy. To that end, our state and national energy plans have long relied on varying policies and incentives, such as the PTC and RPS, to deploy technologies that ensure a diverse domestic energy fleet.

Iowa has long played a leadership role in developing wind power—a clean, domestic, affordable resource. During my first term as governor, I signed the first RPS in the country, and it continues to drive billions in private investment in Iowa, as well as helping electric consumers. Some years later, Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote the PTC. Today, Iowa is seeing the economic benefits flowing from those policies, which have attracted billions of dollars in private investment first hand. Our state is receiving 20% of its electricity from wind farms at stable and dependable rates, and there are over 215 wind-related businesses operating in 55 counties across Iowa, providing jobs for more than 5,000 workers. This success has been replicated across the nation, with more than 470 factories in 43 states producing parts for the industry.

The Production Tax Credit was originally developed and enacted into law with strong bipartisan support that continues today. Congress should act urgently to extend the PTC and provide the certainty wind companies need to continue investing in Iowa’s and the nation’s future.

Gov. Terry E. Branstad

Des Moines, Iowa