Wind association “outraged”at news “facts”
A statement from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA):
We are outraged at ABC World News and American University for blatantly disregarding the facts in an attempt to smear the wind industry and spread false information about how Recovery Act money is being spent. It is our responsibility to ensure the facts about the wind industry are available and respond aggressively when our industry is attacked.
Here are the facts:
+ 100% of Recovery Act dollars going to the wind industry were provided as a tax credit for investment in wind projects constructed and operated in the U.S which employ Americans. To date, 48 wind projects across 23 states have been built due to the support from the Recovery Act. It was the Recovery Act funding that provided a spur in investment for these projects resulting in the continued employment of 40,000 Americans. This investment means American construction, engineering, installation, transportation, and operation and maintenance jobs that cannot be outsourced. This means payments to landowners, farmers and ranchers. This means property tax payments to local governments.
+ Stimulus dollars are not going overseas. It is the law that recovery dollars must go to U.S. wind projects. To receive recovery dollars, wind projects must be built and brought online in the U.S. with private investments that cover the full cost of the project before one penny of recovery money leaves our Treasury. Without the stimulus, thousands of megawatts would not have been built in 2009.
+ In fact, the recovery dollars are leveraging billions of dollars from around the world and bringing investments INTO the U.S. economy, supporting jobs here. $10 billion of additional investments into the American economy has been publicly committed by global companies due to stimulus incentives. We are a global industry with global companies. Investments can be made in strong wind markets around the world. We need to compete for these dollars so that we can grow jobs in the U.S.
We know there is serious concern about where our wind turbines and components are built. The wind industry is trying to overcome decades of an uncertain and adverse business environment, making it difficult to establish a manufacturing base. However, the ramp up in manufacturing has begun over the past few years, increasing from a few manufacturing facilities in the U.S. before 2005 to over 150 facilities supplying components today. We have added tower and blade manufacturing, nacelle assembly facilities, and have the capability to become a leader in manufacturing the sophisticated nacelle components However, we know that turbine and component orders are not coming in at the rate necessary to sustain our manufacturing sector to keep shops open and people employed. This is resulting in layoffs and production slowdowns in from U.S. manufacturing companies. It is AWEA’s top priority to create a market that supports our manufacturing companies who have already invested billions in the U.S. as well as new companies who are waiting to make investments.