Jun. 06, 2012

Renewable Energy Paradigm Shift: Republicans as Tree Huggers?

by Ira Flatow

Click to enlarge images
Karl Rove has come out in favor of tax cuts for wind power, agreeing with Democrats. Yes, you read this correctly.
Speaking before a group of wind power advocates in Atlanta, the conservative Republican strategiest said "We need conservative Republicans who can say, 'This means jobs to my district,' ... and we need Democrats to say, 'This is a way to expand the range of options that we have in this country for energy, " as reported in the Kansas City Star. 
 
Rove joined Robet Gibbs, former Obama advisor, asking that a 2.2 cent tax break, that expires in December, be extended by Congress. 
 
When renewable energy is embraced by conservative Republicans - no, we won't call them "tree huggers" quite yet - what less can it be than a paradigm shift? 
 
The growth of wind and solar - like the melting of the ice in the arctic and whacky weather - is hard to ignore anymore. Renewable energy projects dot the landscape and the pages of local newspapers. "BP Wind Energy is currently building the biggest wind farm in the state, and it plans to begin production by the end of this year," says CNN Money, "Wind turbines are being built right next to oil rigs, bringing an additional rush of jobs and revenue to the small towns along the southern border of the state -- as well as big paychecks to local landowners."
 
And it's not just the wind sweeping down the plain.  General Electric Co. says it will provide 137 turbines to DTE Energy Co. for wind projects in Michigan's Lower Peninsula,  says Bloomber Businessweek
 
If politicians can put their rhetoric away and look at how technology can create jobs...
About Ira Flatow

Ira is the host and executive producer of Science Friday.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.
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