Congressional Inaction Threatens Middle Class Wind Jobs Across America
Congress has been unable to extend vital tax credits for the wind industry, causing incredible uncertainty for investors in the fast-growing wind sector and threatening thousands of jobs across America, like those at Alliant Energy in Iowa highlighted in the video released by the Center for American Progress Dec. 20. With the production tax credit set to expire next December, manufacturers are already seeing a cut back in orders and developers are thinning their portfolios.
Wind companies need clarity on future investments and a looming tax credit expiration hurts business. Instead of protecting every kind of job, including green jobs, for American workers in this stagnant economy, some members of Congress are calling green jobs "illusory" and "political propaganda." So who are the American workers with jobs in the wind industry impacted by political inaction? And what do they have to lose?
Center for American Progress video producer Andrew Satter traveled to Iowa and spoke to people working in Iowa’s wind industry—a sector that enjoys strong bipartisan support, maintains more than 3,000 jobs, and generates $50 million in revenue for the state each year. That economic activity helps support middle-class workers like Nathan Crawford, a wind technician with Alliant Energy who says he loves his job. “It’s pretty cool that I get to do this every day,” says Crawford. “The wind industry has been able to bring me and my wife back close to home.”
But with national political leaders dragging their feet, they threaten these good-paying, middle-class jobs in America’s heartland. That is the true price of inconsistency in clean energy policy.
Encourage American lawmakers to support the renewable energy industry by sending them a letter via the American Wind Energy Association website.
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people and for the people."
California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.
High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.
Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.
California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.
As reported by AccuWeather:
In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.
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By Monir Ghaedi
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.
European satellites continue to provide data on climate change.