China and the US are in a fight to win a share of the millions of jobs and trillions of dollars that will come from the new alternative-energy industries that are gearing up to replace oil and coal. But Mitt Romney has told Republicans to remove an extension of wind-energy tax credits from an “extenders bill.” This is about oil and coal company domination of our economy and the Republican Party — even as it gives China an economic advantage over us. Romney also is not asking the House to vote on the bill that fights Chinese currency manipulation. What’s going on?
Competition For Alternative-Energy Jobs
We are in a worldwide competition to build the post-oil economy. This is a competition for millions of jobs and trillions of dollars. Every country wants a share of the design and manufacturing of wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal systems, biofuels, electric cars, high-speed rail, urban and suburban light rail, advanced batteries, smart-grid power transmission systems, and all of the rest. And there is also the fight for the construction, installation and maintenance contracts for all of these systems.
China is fighting particularly hard for a dominant share of these new industries. The US is falling behind. Oil- and Wall Street-backed Republicans again and again are siding with China.
The news reports tell the wind-tax-credit story:
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.
… 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.
NY Times: Wind Credit on the Block
A longstanding tax credit for wind power that has broad bipartisan support was caught Wednesday in presidential politics when Senate Republicans removed it from a usually routine package of business tax breaks to show their loyalty to their presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
Mr. Romney on Monday came out in favor of letting the wind production tax credit lapse at the end of the year, just as Senate Finance Committee members were nearing completion of a hard-fought package of business tax breaks they hope to pass out of the committee on Thursday. Those negotiations were largely about paring back the package, which routinely passes without much scrutiny.
… But for now, according to committee sources, Republicans who had favored the credit believed that they needed to unite against it for Mr. Romney’s sake.
Letting the wind production tax credit (PTC) expire at the end of this year “could have a devastating effect” on the wind energy industry, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said Tuesday.
Wind, or any other energy industry, needs “some level of certainty” about incentives they bake into business plans, Wellinghoff said in response to a question from The Hill at the Platts Energy Podium in Washington, D.C.
He advocated that, if the wind credit were to end, it should happen in a phased manner rather than with an “arbitrary and immediate cutoff.”
As Asian countries, especially energy-hungry China, ramp up their use of renewable energy sources, American wind energy equipment and parts jobs will flow to countries not frozen in place by warring political parties, as is the case in the United States, according to Former Secretary of Energy Federico Pena, Former Iowa Governor Chet Culver, Pennsylvania wind developer Brent Aldefer and Mark Shanahan, former Director of the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, each of whom drew sharp contrasts today between President Obama and Mitt Romney on wind energy.
The quartet of energy experts used GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s “Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth” as a point of reference as they laid out their case on differences between what Mr. Romney would do on alternative energy like wind and solar—end them but continue tax subsides for very profitable oil and gas companies—and what President Obama would do—continue the tax credit if Congress approves it before it expires at the end of the year.
Under “Research and Development” in Mitt Romney’s “Pro-Jobs, Pro-Market, Pro-American” economic plan, he makes it clear that he thinks wind and solar are the wrong places to make investments going forward.
Republicans Again Siding With China
This latest wind-energy battle is only the latest example of China-backing.
The Senate has passed a bill that cracks down on Chinese currency manipulation. But House Republicans are blocking a vote on this bill — even though more than 60 of them are co-sponsors. Mitt Romney says he supports cracking down on China, but will not ask House Republicans to bring this bill up for a vote. A word from his campaign blocks wind energy tax credit renewal — but no word from his campaign on this!
Chinese Money Influencing Election?
The Supreme Court has allowed billionaires and corporations — even non-US-owned corporations — to pump unlimited amounts of money into influencing our elections. But various loopholes prevent us from even learning which billionaires and corporations are behind many of the ads. There is one billionaire, however, we do know about.
Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has already given $10 million to Mitt Romney’s campaign and promises a “limitless” amount — $100 million or more. Adelson has $25 billion, largely thanks to China granting him an exclusive license to operate casinos in their territory.
This exclusive Chinese-granted casino license is worth billions, and Adelson has in the past used his influence with Republicans in Congress to help China. Adelson influenced Republicans to help China get the Beijing Olympics and then received the license to build casinos in Chinese territory. From the New Yorker, The Brass Ring: A multibillionaire’s relentless quest for global influence,
In July, 2001, Adelson met with a Vice-Premier of China, Qian Qichen … [and] met with the mayor of Beijing, who asked Adelson for help with a matter pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, which he believed was threatening China’s chance to host the Olympics.
Adelson … immediately made calls on his cell phone to Republican friends in Congress—including Tom DeLay, then the majority whip—who had received generous support from Adelson. DeLay told him that there was indeed a resolution pending …opposing China’s Olympic bid, saying, “China’s abominable human rights record violates the spirit of the games and should disqualify Beijing from consideration.” … Three days later, the International Olympics Committee voted in China’s favor. [Adelson received the casino license soon after, in early 2002 – dj]
[…] In May, 2004, the first gamblers entered the Sands Macao. Its construction costs were two hundred and sixty-five million dollars, and Adelson made back his initial investment in a year. In December, 2004, Adelson took Las Vegas Sands public (according to Forbes, he owns sixty-nine per cent of the stock) and became a multibillionaire, overnight.
Senator and Romney presidential campaign surrogate John McCain (R-AZ) said Thursday that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is indirectly injecting millions of dollars in Chinese “foreign money” into Mitt Romney’s presidential election effort.
Adelson used his influence with the Republicans in Congress to help China get the Olympics, and then got a casino license worth billions to him. What else has he helped or will he help China get? Is this influence — not just oil-company domination — what is behind Romney and the Republican party continually siding with China over American companies and interests?
The Blue Green Alliance has a number of things you can do to help save American wind-energy jobs. )lease visit their SAVE AMERICAN JOBS page:
Right now, Congress is sitting on critical tax incentives for renewable energy that would create thousands of jobs and boost American competitiveness in the global economy. Clean energy tax incentives like the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind, the 1603 Treasury grant program, and the Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C) have created and saved thousands of jobs, and extending these incentives will create many more.
However, failure to act on these important tax credits threatens the very jobs we need right now.