Romney, Obama digging in on wind credit

The PTC has achieved an elevated profile since Romney defined his position on the credit last week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he expects the Senate to pass a PTC extension this year. Meanwhile, an Obama spokeswoman on Wednesday called the PTC fight “huge” for Colorado residents at a stop in that state.

Romney didn't address the issue at a stop in Iowa on Wednesday, but Obama could bring it up when he spends three days in the state next week.

An Obama aide is using lofty job creation predictions from a poll by a wind energy advocacy group to justify its stance on the PTC, The Washington Post noted on its Fact Checker blog. The poll, paid for by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), suggested the wind industry would support 100,000 jobs by 2016 and 500,000 by 2030.

However, the blog spared the Obama campaign a bit when it noted the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is run by the Energy Department, used those same statistics in a 2008 report. The Post highlighted that AWEA made “major contributions” to that undertaking.

The Romney campaign has been slightly less truthful with some of its statements regarding Obama’s record on wind energy, the Post concluded.

A Romney aide used outdated statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that said solar and wind produce 1 percent of the nation’s power. That figure was from 2010. The nation now gets 4 percent of its power from those sources.

The Romney team has been accurately using a figure from AWEA lost 10,000 full-time equivalent jobs between 2009 and 2010, the Post stated.

Wind-industry officials say uncertainty about the incentive’s future is already causing layoffs along the wind energy supply chain. New wind-power installations have fallen off sharply when the credit has been allowed to lapse, which last occurred in 2004.