10:05 PM, May. 15, 2012
My name is Rob Hach. I am an Iowa farm boy who moved into town to start a business. That was 10 years ago.
Today my wife and I have 28 employees and four offices in four states at Anemometry Specialists. We work in the wind industry on turbines. We are proud to be among those who help make Iowa the No. 1 state in the country for wind jobs. Iowa also ranks second in electricity generation from wind.
Last August, during President Obama’s rural tour through the Midwest, I had a chance to tell him I have 28 employees working in wind energy who have been kept on our payroll thanks to his administration’s investment in clean energy.
That’s why it makes me so angry to see secretive oil billionaires spending millions of dollars on false smear TV commercials targeting the president’s investments in clean energy. It is difficult to watch these people air their TV ads slapping around the president’s support of my employees’ jobs and ridiculous claims that he created jobs in Mexico and China.
The president kept our doors open and our employees working because of the wind-production tax credit and 1603 Treasury grant program.
And we were able to keep jobs in Iowa. The majority of the people I employ here in Alta are either farm kids or still working on the family farm in the evening. Today, the school district in Alta receives somewhere between 16 percent and 20 percent of its revenue from wind turbines. And almost 30 percent of the taxes paid into the county are off wind turbines.
Wind is an American success story in Iowa.
I support the president and his energy policy because it supports the American farmer and is good for our national security because we still are too dependent on Middle East dictators for our energy needs.
Unfortunately, Mitt Romney, in his economic plan, has said wind and solar power are technologies that “make little sense for the consuming public but great sense only for the companies reaping profits from taxpayer subsidies.”
I can tell you that I’m not reaping massive profits like the oil billionaires funding these ads with their billions in subsidies and tax breaks. Right now my wife and I are living invoice to invoice, praying we have enough money to make payroll every two weeks. I have missed Christmas concerts, wedding anniversaries and school plays and sacrificed so much more to keep my business going.
Romney also says in his jobs plan that the highly skilled personnel who design and build heavy capital equipment like wind turbines “comprise only a minuscule fraction of the U.S. labor force. Even if the sector were to grow rapidly, it would not make much of a dent in the overall employment picture.”
I guess he missed the fact that Iowa has turbine or power production facilities in Fort Madison, West Branch, Cedar Rapids and Newton that employ thousands of people. In some counties in Iowa, wind manufacturing companies are now the largest employer.
When this lands in the local paper, I am going to shock a few people. Many people locally know I am a registered Republican. But I believe in voting for the best candidate and the one who understands that clean energy is helping to revitalize small towns across Iowa and bringing manufacturing back to America when so many other industries have fled town.
I want the people to know that the president is keeping my American dream alive. Forget all the special-interest, out-of-state oil money and ads.
The proof of the success of Obama’s investments in clean energy can be seen in the wind blades dotting the landscapes all across Iowa.
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