Romney Shafts Colorado GOP Delegation (And Colorado)

TUESDAY UPDATE #3: In a release moments ago, Colorado Democratic Party spokesman Matt Inzeo seeks answers from Republicans who have supported the wind power tax credit:

Romney’s opposition to the PTC is all the more out of touch given that it supports as many as 5,000 jobs in Colorado and 75,000 nationwide. And failing to extend the tax credit could cost up to 37,000 jobs across the country in the next year. That’s why a bipartisan group from Colorado’s Congressional Delegation supports its extension, including U.S. Representatives Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton and Mike Coffman, who said a failure to extend the PTC would “hurt a lot of jobs.”

So given Romney’s out-of-touch opposition to the wind production tax credit and the 4,000 to 5,000 Colorado jobs it supports, the question now is: Will Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton and Mike Coffman stand up to the leader of the Republican Party and tell him to do the right thing?

Full text after the jump.

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TUESDAY UPDATE #2: The Quad City Times with reaction from Iowa:

Already, at least one Republican lawmaker reacted to Romney’s statement. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, said Monday afternoon the position showed a misunderstanding of the importance of the credit. “It’s the wrong decision,” he said, urging Romney to re-evaluate the statement issued by the campaign.

Nothing yet from our Colorado GOP proponents of the tax credit, but we’re watching for it.

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TUESDAY UPDATE: The Pueblo Chieftain’s Peter Roper reports:

[Former Denver Mayor Federico] Pena quoted from Romney’s economic plan, “Plans for Jobs and Economic Growth,” as proof that the former Massachusetts governor doesn’t support wind power. The plan calls wind and solar power two of “the most ballyhooed” forms of energy that can’t survive without subsidies. “At current prices, these technologies make little sense,” the Romney plan states. Pena said Vestas workers would disagree.

“We have 18 manufacturing facilities for wind power, with the largest in Pueblo,” he said. “These aren’t imaginary jobs.”

Brent Aldefer, a wind power manufacturer in Pennsylvania, said the tax credit was established during the administration of former President George H.W. Bush.

“These are goodpaying jobs and they won’t go overseas to China unless we pack ‘em up and send ‘em,” Aldefer said.

Folks, we need to hear from the GOP members of Congress who have been pushed for the renewal of this tax credit at this point. We know how Federico Pena and the Obama campaign feel. What about Scott Tipton? Mike Coffman? Cory Gardner? Where are they on this issue now that their presidential nominee has left them to (pardon the pun) twist in the wind?

There is precedent for what may happen here: you’ll recall in June of 2011 when the same three Colorado congressman, Tipton, Coffman, and Gardner, all suddenly pulled their names from a bill they had sponsored to incentivize natural gas truck fleets. Despite the obvious benefits this bill would have had for Colorado’s natural gas industry, they succumbed to pressure from Grover Norquist, the Club for Growth and the Heritage Foundation.

We didn’t say it was a good precedent.

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Late breaking today from FOX 31′s Eli Stokols:

“He will allow the wind credit to expire, [Pols emphasis] end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,” Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, said in the statement. “Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results.”

That position could hurt Romney in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado, a group of swing states home to wind energy manufacturers who could be forced to lay off thousands of workers.

“This is proof positive Mitt Romney does not understand the Centennial state,” said Pete Maysmith, executive director of Colorado Conservation Voters. “Colorado voters have consistently endorsed wind energy and voted for candidates who support renewable energy.  His head in the sand stance is even more baffling given this is a jobs issue.”

…Of Colorado’s Republicans in Congress, Reps. Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton and Mike Coffman all support extending the wind PTC; Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, is the only GOP member who opposes it. [Pols emphasis]

Folks, this is an astounding development–the fact that so many conservative Republicans in our state are pushing for the renewal of the wind power tax credit, in the headlines here like it is everywhere the industry has a presence, makes this a foolish and strategically inexplicable move for Mitt Romney. There’s just no way you can add up the gains vs. losses here and say Romney is helping himself politically by running to the right of our conservative GOP congressional delegation. Romney invites the wrath of editorial boards who have tried mightily not to say anything negative about him (this means you, Pueblo Chieftain).

To come out against something that has such overwhelming bipartisan support seems sure to complicate Romney’s relations with his fellow GOP candidates here at least. Or they’re all about to flip-flop on extending the wind power tax credit? Either way, much like when John McCain told the Chieftain that the Colorado River Compact needs to be “renegotiated,” this could go down in the as-yet unwritten history of the 2012 presidential race as a major unforced error.

This is not how you treat a state you want to win.


WILL COLORADO REPUBLICANS STAND UP TO MITT ROMNEY ON WIND PTC, COLORADO JOBS?

COLORADO – Yesterday, Mitt Romney’s campaign announced his unequivocal opposition to the PTC, saying, “he will allow the wind tax credit to expire” and called it a “boondoggle.” And in Romney’s own “Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth,” he calls wind an “uncompetitive” and “ballyhooed” form of energy.

Romney’s opposition to the PTC is all the more out of touch given that it supports as many as 5,000 jobs in Colorado and 75,000 nationwide. And failing to extend the tax credit could cost up to 37,000 jobs across the country in the next year. That’s why a bipartisan group from Colorado’s Congressional Delegation supports its extension, including U.S. Representatives Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton and Mike Coffman, who said a failure to extend the PTC would “hurt a lot of jobs.”

So given Romney’s out-of-touch opposition to the wind production tax credit and the 4,000 to 5,000 Colorado jobs it supports, the question now is: Will Cory Gardner, Scott Tipton and Mike Coffman stand up to the leader of the Republican Party and tell him to do the right thing?

COLORADO REPUBLICANS CORY GARDNER, SCOTT TIPTON AND MIKE COFFMAN HAVE BACKED WIND PTC

Eight Members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation, Including Three Republicans, Say Delaying Extension Would Do Enormous Damage. Eight members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation, including Republican Reps. Scott Tipton, Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman, wrote, “The PTC has been very effective in facilitating new market penetration of wind energy and moving us toward a more diversified and cleaner energy portfolio. A delay in this extension would do enormous damage to that progress. Since its inception, the wind PTC has driven economic growth across the nation, including substantial growth in Colorado.” [Colorado Congressional Delegation Press Release, 2/7/12]

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton Endorses “All-of-the-Above” Energy Strategy at Committee Hearing, Discusses Importance of Wind PTC for Small Business. A press release headline from Tipton’s office reads, “Tipton Touts Wind Energy Innovation as Part of All-of-the-Above Energy Solution in Committee Hearing.” In his opening statement at the committee hearing, Tipton said, “Colorado is a national wind energy leader and has lots of small businesses who are finding innovative ways to be successful. …Wind is critical to the all-of-the-above energy approach, and I believe Congress must provide the certainty necessary so this industry can continue to have economic growth and protect American jobs. I will continue to support these jobs and push for this timely solution. The advancement of new technologies moves us towards an all-of-the-above energy policy and greater energy independence, that grows our economy and creates jobs.” [Tipton Press Release, 4/26/12]

At a Public Appearance in Sterling, CO this Past March, Gardner Cited the Importance of Renewing the PTC. Gardner explained to an audience in Sterling that it is important “to make sure that we find ways to continue the production tax credits and do what we can to promote wind energy, renewable energy in the state of Colorado.” [Sterling Journal-Advocate, 3/16/2012]

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman said a failure to act to extend the wind PTC would “hurt a lot of jobs”: In an article published by the Denver Post, Coffman said the wind energy industry “seems to be built with the continuation of these subsidies, and so I think if you pull the rug out from under them right now, you’re going to hurt a lot of jobs.” [Denver Post, 4/2/12]

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31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. He’s apparently willing to make a stand without regard to the political effect.

    There are a lot of line items in government budgets that many of us on all sides would agree shouldn’t be there, and wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the political pandering.  How much lower would the military budget be if the M-I complex hadn’t distributed their manufacturing throughout as many states as possible?  How long ago would the O&G subsidies ended if it weren’t for the likes of Mary Landrieu and other oil state politicians?

    Of course, Romney isn’t interested in ending the O&G expenses in our federal budget – just the forward-looking investments.  That makes him wrong, but at least on this issue it’s not because he’s pandering.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Give him credit for one thing, he’s apparently willing to make a stand without regard to the political effect.

      This etch-a-sketch is gonna’ be shaken real hard, retroactively.  I predict, we’re about to see a new land-speed record for evolution . . . no way in hell that Willard “stands” on this.  There is no upside to this position anywhere in the country, and it’s a huge votes loser in far too many states.  

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      The Republicans love corporate welfare so kudos to him for this. And if he follows up saying the same for the welfare payments to the other energy sectors – then we may be seeing a Mitt Romney who has decided to actually stand for something.

      If so, that would be very worrisome for Obama.

      • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

        make a little wager on this?

        if he follows up saying the same for the welfare payments to the other energy sectors

        Free beer at the next meet-up, say?

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        Whether you agree or disagree, this was an act of courage and principle from Romney. He’s taking a stand based on what’s right, not what’s poll tested or easy. I’m very proud of Romney, and I believe my fellow Republicans in Colorado should be too.

        • ClubTwitty says:

          Its like you have a friend.  So then, on principle, you believe in reforming the 1872 General Mining Law?  Making sure that not a dime of taxpayer largess or acre of public land/minerals get leased for anything below market value (right now it starts at $2.50 an acre–if that isn’t a subsidy for BigOil I’m not sure what is–with hardrock minerals not a dime, not a dime goes back to the US Treasury, to the taxpayers that still do or once owned the minerals…  

          Keep that principled consistency coming.  here’s another for you, you must–indeed–be proud.  

        • harrydobyharrydoby says:

          or will follow through with eliminating “old” energy corporate welfare payments.

          How about I just agree to pay now

          As the odds of his doing this are about the same as the odds of my winning the lottery (I have never bought a ticket).

          You see the oil and gas industry would dry up and blow away (pun intended) without government help, at least to hear oil execs tell it, right?

  2. Libertad 2.0 says:

    Yes, folks, it’s time once again to play America’s favorite game show: Guess That Spin! It’s the game where we guess what the blog shills will come up with to counter this glaring contradiction.

    Ready? Let’s play!

    Guess #1: “Unlike the Democrat Party, the Republicans allow their members to have a wide variety of views that can be shared and debated openly.”

    Guess #2: “Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman have a good point, but Mitt Romney is a great leader.”

    Guess #3: “Does wind energy even exist? I heard it’s a lib conspiracy to make everyone bend to the will of the U.N.”

    Guess #4: “This is Obama’s fault because he said ‘I won’ this one time after the 2008 election.”

  3. Carolannie says:

    what a twit.  Does this mean he would end all the tax credits for oil exploration and so forth?  Mais non (chichi French poodle speak), he would allow those to continue because that we we can compete with them dark furriners.  

    Does Wile. E. Coyote have anything on Mitt?  Can we expect a delivery from Acme soon?

  4. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    Where Mitt defines “merits” as you spend $100 million supporting my campaign, and I’ll give you $40 billion in government subsidies.

    Wind energy isn’t competitive on those “merits”.

    You just need a Romney to English dictionary to understand what he’s saying.

  5. caroman says:

    Per the Denver Post today:

    “Romney’s campaign said Monday that if elected president he would allow a wind-energy tax credit to expire, though it would affect about 5,000 jobs in Colorado.”

    Did you get that — the Romney campaign acknowledged that his stance would affect 5,000 Colorado jobs.  Not the Obama campaign’s spin, the Romney campaign!

    Good luck with that, Twit, I mean Mitt.

  6. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    I can’t wait to hear your spin on this one :)

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