Wind industry slams Schumer’s ‘Buy American’ plan



But Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and three colleagues are calling on Treasury to ensure the money only flows to projects that use U.S.-built components, or freeze the program until their bill passes.

Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Robert Casey (D-Penn.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) sponsored the legislation with Schumer. 

Bode said the effect of the plan would be the opposite of the lawmakers’ intent to create new U.S. jobs. The U.S. wind industry has seen an uptick in jobs building and operating wind farms due to the stimulus program, even as manufacturing jobs have stalled, AWEA reported earlier this year.

But there is not currently enough manufacturing capacity to produce 100 percent of wind turbine components in the U.S., Bode said.

“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,” she said.

Instead, she said that Congress should adopt policies that encourage more wind turbine manufacturing in the U.S. – including a renewable electricity standard (RES). An RES would require utilities to supply escalating amounts of power from renewable energy sources.

But Schumer on Wednesday called the ability of private energy project developers to use foreign-made materials a loophole in the 2009 stimulus law that Congress did not intend.

He predicted the new legislation would get “broad bipartisan support.”

Jordan Fabian contributed.