President Obama touted wind energy production while taking a
shot at GOP rival Mitt Romney for once saying, "You can't drive a car with a
windmill on it" -- a reference to the president's push for
alternative fuels to reduce the nation's dependency on foreign
"If he wants to learn something about wind, all he's gotta do is
pay attention to what you've been doing here in Iowa," the
president declared. "The wind industry now supports 7,000 jobs here
in Iowa, 75,000 jobs across the country."
He also mentioned that 20 percent of Iowa's energy supply now
comes from wind -- something the president included in this week's
speech. Chris Horner, author and senior fellow at the Center for
Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute,
says that data this summer from the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA) puts it at 19 percent. But wind was still
second to coal as an energy source.
As for those 75,000 jobs across the country created by the wind
energy industry, the Iowa City newspaper, Press-Citizen,
reports that is actually down from the number of jobs in 2009.
On "Crane Durham's Nothing But Truth" on American Family Radio, Marita
Noon, columnist and executive director of Energy Makes America Great,
recently pointed out that wind production and related jobs would
not exist without taxpayer subsidies. "For 20 years the
taxpayers have been subsidizing this wind energy source that is
more than 100 years old," she recognized. "And in this economy,
it's time that we stop subsidizing it. What we're really doing is
the rest of us across the country are having to pony up so that
those people have jobs in that industry." Noon says that presents
another issue with wind energy. "We're also paying, basically, to
build a natural gas-fueled power plant to provide backup to that
wind [power]," the traditional energy advocate notes. "So you have
to ask Why don't we just do the gas-fueled power plants in the
first place? We have such an abundance of natural gas."
Noon further points out that the country has created 600,000
jobs through hydraulic fracturing alone. President Obama made
similar remarks in his State of the
Union address, claiming "experts believe this will support more
than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade."
That is not to say, however, that no Republicans favor wind
energy. Senators and congressman from wind-energy states like
Kansas and Iowa, for example, support extending the tax credit.
Just before the August recess, the Senate Finance Committee
approved a bill calling for an extension of the wind energy tax