Wind power has brought manufacturing back to America

Wind power has brought manufacturing back to America

Contact: Ellen Carey; 202.249.7357

Wind power has brought manufacturing back to America. U.S. wind turbine domestic manufacturing has grown 12-fold, with an increase in domestic content from 25% only a few years ago to nearly 70% now of a much bigger industry. Nearly 500 factories now make more than two-thirds of our wind energy components here in the U.S., employing 30,000 people and cutting transportation costs. That new manufacturing sector has helped wind install 35% of new U.S. electric generating capacity since 2007 — and revitalize heartland communities with factory and construction jobs, lease payments to farmers and ranchers, over $15 billion a year in private investment, and property taxes that pay for schools, hospitals, and other public services.
Last night’s debate claim regarding wind turbines from China has already been countered and debunked by nationally recognized fact checkers, Politifact and Washington Post’s Fact Checker.
As they report:

  • Politifact found that “among the reports and articles they [the Romney campaign] cite, one refers to that massive project in Texas that was never built and will never receive stimulus money.” Furthermore, “PolitiFact found that the Republican making the charge believed that a large wind project in Texas would have purchased 300 Chinese turbines. In fact, that project never got off the ground.” (Source: Politifact, July 18th, 2012).
  • Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave the claim their highest grade of false information, “four Pinocchios,” saying “one can certainly raise questions about how stimulus funding was used and whether it was effective. But there is no excuse for these kinds of ads, which take facts out of context or simply invent them. These groups should be especially ashamed, given that these claims have been previously debunked, or, in the case of the erroneous ABC report, withdrawn.” (Source: Washington Post, April 30th, 2012).  
  • Washington Post’s chimed in again this morning in light of the vice presidential debates saying “we’ve written repeatedly about such claims, which are exaggerated. There are foreign connections but the stimulus money was generally spent in the United States.” (Source: Washington Post, Oct. 12, 2012).

U.S. wind industry facts:

  • U.S. increased manufacturing and domestic content from 25% to nearly 70% since 2005.
  • While industries are outsourcing over the past decade, the wind industry has been insourcing – bringing dollars from overseas into the U.S. alongside American companies transitioning into wind from other sectors like auto, defense, marine, etc.
  • Nearly 500 manufacturing facilities now make one of the 8,000 component parts of a wind turbine here in the U.S.
  • Over $15 billion of private investment is spent on building new wind farms each year in the U.S.

Wind industry support:

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and American Farm Bureau are among over 400 organizations and companies that support the wind industry and endorse an extension of the industry’s key policy priority, the PTC.
  • A bipartisan coalition of 23 governors led by Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) supports extending the PTC. Gov. Branstad recently wrote The Wall Street Journal on its economic benefits.
  • Republican, Democratic and Independent voters broadly support wind power and its expansion.
  • "[Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin] remains committed to an extension of the federal production tax credit for wind energy, joining several other Republican governors and lawmakers in the central United States … 'I agree with Gov. Romney on 99 percent of the issues," Fallin said. "But on this one, I've got to do what's best for our state.'”—Tulsa World, Sept. 24
  • “At this critical time for our economy we should not be contemplating a crippling tax increase on an emerging energy industry that is now adding new manufacturing jobs.  Let wind power finish the job.   This is not a partisan issue. It is a manufacturing jobs issue.”–February 16 op ed by Rep. Steve King (R-IA-05) in Politico.

Ashley Napier is a creative, multi- media communication technologist with over ten years of progressive experience in grassroots advocacy, online communication strategy, software implementation/project management, digital media, visual design, social media and copyediting for associations/non-profits. She currently works as a systems administrator with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Before joining AWEA in 2012, Ashley worked for about 10 years at an array of associations and non-profits, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the Center for Schools and Communities. Ashley also co-founded an art collective in Philadelphia: FitzHitz. As co-founder and VP of digital media, Ashley has collaborated with many neophyte artists from developing websites to curating a photo shoots to designing awesome flyers. Ashley graduated with an M.S. in Internet Communication from Shippensburg University in 2011. She received her B.A. in Communication with a focus on visual design from Temple University in 2002.

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