Iowa has become a national leader in the growing wind industry due to its natural potential and early adoption of the technology. Wind energy powers the equivalent of 900,000 homes in Iowa, and 200 companies provide thousands of middle-class jobs. It stands to gain even more, economically and environmentally, by promoting wind energy in the coming years.
However, congressional inaction on an important tax credit has threatened the industry in Iowa and throughout the nation. With the production tax credit set to expire in December 2012, manufacturers are already seeing a cut back in orders and developers are thinning their portfolios. Wind companies need clarity on future investments, and a looming tax credit expiration hurts business.
So who are the American workers with jobs in the wind industry impacted by political inaction? The Center for American Progress traveled to Iowa and met Nathan Crawford, a Lead Wind Technician at Alliant Energy’s Whispering Willow Wind Farm. We spent the day with Nathan and learned about the quality of life afforded by good-paying, middle-class jobs in America’s heartland.
Andrew Satter is the Video/Multimedia Producer at American Progress.