Wind industry to air ads for Colo.’s Udall, Iowa’s Braley

Source: Elana Schor, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) this week plans advertising in Colorado and Iowa in support of Democrats facing two of this fall’s most hotly contested Senate races.

The AWEA ads backing Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado and Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa, running to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D), come as both Democrats face increasingly heated attacks from their GOP challengers. Udall in particular sees near-daily pressure from his opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner (R), over proposed statewide ballot initiatives that could limit hydraulic fracturing.

By contrast, Gardner’s stated support for the production tax credit (PTC) — an incentive vital to the wind industry that House Republicans have appeared cool to extending past year’s end — has drawn less scrutiny this summer despite efforts by NextGen Climate, the political action committee of billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, to make it into campaign-trail fodder (E&E Daily, May 22).

AWEA’s ads also include a spot praising Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who does not face re-election until 2016. A spokesman for the group declined to reveal the size of its ad buy.

Click here to view the AWEA ads.