Iowa stumping ground for wind energy

July 26, 2012 at 8:03 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa, July 26 (UPI) -- A U.S. energy official backed extensions of federal tax credits for utility-scaled wind energy during a tour of production facilities in Iowa.

A tax credit for utility-scale wind energy producers in the United States expires at the end of the year. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he'd push to end the tax credit while U.S. President Barack Obama said he's in favor of extending the policy.

David Sandalow, an assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Energy Department, touted the benefits during a tour of two wind energy companies in Iowa, a key battleground state in November's U.S. presidential contest.

Sandalow said Iowa was a national leader in clean-energy development, add tax credits have supported "thousands of jobs in Iowa."

In a recent column at the Huffington Post, Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program, said the tax credit has lead to a12-fold increase in domestic manufacturing of wind turbine components since 2006.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration, in its annual report, said renewable energy sources like wind and solar power could increase their share in the national energy mix from 10 percent to 15 percent by 2035.

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