WASHINGTON – Anxious to show voters he's working to create jobs, President Barack Obama is putting tax credits to boost clean energy in the spotlight this week as he heads to the political battleground state of Iowa.
The president will visit TPI Composites, a wind manufacturer in Newton, on Thursday to highlight his push for tax credits to encourage investments in clean energy technologies. The trip is part of Obama's ongoing effort to prod Congress to act on a "to-do list" he says is necessary to make sure the economy doesn't lose steam.
Specifically, Obama wants Congress to renew the federal Production Tax Credit for the wind industry, which is set to expire at the end of the year, and expand the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, which supports American-made clean energy manufacturing.
The president's "to-do list" includes a series of economic initiatives he has been pushing for months, none of which have gained traction in Congress. Obama has been trying to blame congressional Republicans for blocking his ideas for creating jobs. And, by extension, he argues that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could be expected to follow their approach if elected.
Polls show the economy is the top issue for voters, and Americans are split over which candidate can best handle it.
Advocates say renewal of the production tax credit could save thousands of jobs and bring financial certainty to the wind industry, which has been vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles. A study commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association, an industry group, said failure to extend the tax credit could mean the loss of as many as 37,000 U.S. jobs.
Iowa is the second-leading state in the U.S. for wind power, after Texas.