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Trump now says he misspoke as he stood side by side with Putin. Also on the Wednesday rundown: a Senate committee looks to weaken the Endangered Species Act; and public input is being sought on Great Lakes restoration.

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Report: Wind Power Jobs Still Waiting for Iowa

July 16, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Wind power production is often touted as a potentially big money-maker for various states, and a new report delves into the manufacturing side of wind-generation set-ups, showing that small companies could play more of a role in supplying materials, and making wind production parts and pieces.

David Foster is executive director of the Blue Green Alliance, a partnership of unions and and environmental organizations, which issued the report. It includes an outline for how American production of turbines, blades, towers, bearings and other components can be ramped up to compete with China and India.

"For states like Iowa, this not only means thousands of jobs in construction and installation of wind projects, it also means the opportunity to attract thousands of manufacturing jobs."

Foster says there's an added bonus with the kinds of jobs needed to build up the wind power manufacturing industry in this country: a workforce is already standing by.

"The jobs are steelworker, the jobs are machinist, the jobs are electrician, the jobs are painters."

Foster says, from a policy standpoint, tax incentives would help beef up manufacturing, as well as business planning assistance. And he cites a national renewable electricity standard as another important piece.

"It would tell utilities that by a date certain in the future, they need to produce 'X' percent of their electricity from renewable sources."

The report shows wind power manufacturing jobs have soared nationwide in recent years, from a mere 2500 in 2004 to nearly 19,000 last year, even during the economic downturn. When current planned manufacturing facilities are on line, the job total will reach 30,000.

The report "Winds of Change: A Manufacturing Blueprint for the Wind Industry," was compiled and paid for by the American Wind Energy Association, Blue Green Alliance and the United Steelworkers. The full text is available at
www.bluegreenalliance.org

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - IA