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Faces of Green Jobs: Wind Energy Provides Stable Middle Class Jobs in America's Heartland

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Uploaded on Dec 19, 2011

In August, most of the GOP presidential field gathered in Iowa to autograph their names on a wind turbine to symbolically support the state's growing industry. For most of the campaign, however, the vast clean energy opportunity in Iowa has largely gone unnoticed.

Iowa has become a national leader in the growing wind industry due to its natural potential and early adoption of the technology. It stands to gain even more, economically and environmentally, by promoting wind energy in the coming years.

However, Congressional inaction on an important tax credit has threatened the industry in Iowa and throughout the nation. 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.

So who are the American workers with jobs in the wind industry impacted by political inaction? The Center for American Progress traveled to Iowa and met Nathan Crawford, a Lead Wind Technician at Alliant Energy's Whispering Willow Wind Farm. We spent the day with Nathan and learned about the quality of life afforded by good-paying, middle-class jobs in America's heartland.

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