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The Alternative Energy Sector Awaits Tuesday’s Results

Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images

A Chinese worker lifts a solar panel in the Yingli Solar factory, one of the world's largest manufacturers of the equipment.

The folks at FuelFix point out alternative energy may have more riding on tomorrow’s presidential results than any other sector:

No other industry outside Detroit has been as closely aligned with President Obama’s policies. Obama touted green jobs as the key to America’s economic revival and showered $90 billion in stimulus funding on makers of solar panels, wind turbines, biofuels and electric cars.

His Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, doesn’t share that enthusiasm.

Romney has used the high-profile bankruptcy of Solyndra, the solar startup that collapsed after receiving $528 million in federal loans, as a cudgel against Obama. The president, he argues, has wasted precious taxpayer money on risky technologies while doing too little to increase production of oil, natural gas and coal.

Romney also wants to end a tax credit that wind farm developers consider essential to financing their projects. The credit will expire at the end of this year unless extended by Congress, and developers are already putting their projects on hold in case it disappears. The companies that make wind power equipment have laid off at least 4,000 American workers as a result, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Meantime, former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger points out the solar industry continues to expand, and now employs nearly 120,000 workers.

Romney promised to expand domestic oil and gas drilling during his Sunday night campaign stop in Bucks County.

Comments

  • Ladderback

    Just for clarification, Solyndra received a loan GUARANTEE which is different from a loan — although it remains to be seen what kind of a loss the taxpayers will pay for.

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