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United States

Mitt Romney "against" PTC extension

UNITED STATES: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has come out firmly against the US federal production tax credit, with a campaign official saying the candidate believes it should be allowed to lapse as scheduled at the end of this year.

"He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits," Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, said in a statement to The Des Moines Register.

"Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results."

Romney’s position sets up a sharp contrast with President Barack Obama, who is pressing Congress to approve a multi-year extension of incentive.

In a statement, the American Wind Energy Association said it "is disappointed that the Romney campaign has come out with an anti-wind stance" and released the results of an opinion poll showing that 57% of Iowa voters would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who does not support expanding US wind generation. About 7,000 Iowans are employed by the wind industry.

Romney’s stance drew criticism from Iowa Republican Congressman Tom Latham, who said it shows a lack of understanding of how important the PTC is and urged the candidate to reconsider. "It’s the wrong decision," Latham said.

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