AWEA blasts Schumer effort to shut down wind grant program
Here is a statement released today by AWEA CEO Denise Bode, in response to a proposal by Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and others to deny Recovery Act grants to projects containing less than 100% U.S. manufactured components:
At a time when the construction unemployment rate is nearly 25% and the manufacturing unemployment rate is 13%, this proposal would cost 50,000 American workers their jobs.
The truth is, by law, Recovery Act grants can only be used to finance projects that are being built in the United States.
This proposal would torpedo one of the most successful job creation efforts of the Recovery Act, which has already preserved half of the 85,000 American jobs in the U.S. wind industry.
Rather than adopt policies that will kill American jobs, Congress should enact policies that will create jobs by encouraging manufacturers to invest in U.S. plants. That means passing a Renewable Electricity Standard now.
The Recovery Act has been creating jobs by helping finance new American wind energy projects that have broken ground or been completed since the Act was passed. The proposed moratorium and legislation would kill this effort and destroy the momentum for one of the few industries that has been creating jobs and economic growth.
It is unfortunate that the proponents of this moratorium and legislation are using a deeply flawed study as the basis for a policy that would destroy tens of thousands of American jobs.
We support the goal of continuing the rapid expansion of U.S. wind manufacturing. More than half of the value of wind turbines used in U.S. wind projects is domestically produced, and that percentage is increasing every year as more turbine makers build U.S. manufacturing capability. We do not have the capability today to produce 100% of wind turbine components in the U.S., but we can grow our manufacturing base and add 274,000 American jobs if Congress passes a strong Renewable Electricity Standard.