Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Romney’s Energy Attacks Cede Manufacturing Future to China
Press Release

RELEASE: Romney’s Energy Attacks Cede Manufacturing Future to China

To read the full memo, click here.

Washington, D.C. — Through misleading attack ads from his campaign and his Crossroads GPS supporters, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney today revealed that underneath his tough talk on China, he is ready to concede the clean energy race and future jobs to America’s competitors. The Center for American Progress Action Fund responded by releasing a memo, “Romney’s Energy Attacks Cede Manufacturing Future to China,” by its President and CEO Tom Perriello, former Virginia congressman; and CAP Action Director of Clean Energy Investment Richard Caperton, who are both available for comment, along with Melanie Hart, Policy Analyst on China Energy and Climate Policy.

“Now is not the time to knee-cap American workers and American innovation,” said Perriello. “International competition in the industries of the future is stronger than ever—and other countries are not playing for second place. The green in China’s focus is not just about the environment; it is about their bottom line.”

China, in particular, labels clean energy as a “strategic emerging industry” and is investing tens of billions of dollars in this industry every year. While Romney’s political attack ads using the unfortunate Solyndra bankruptcy may make for good sound bites, they signal his willingness to wave the white flag of surrender by proposing to kill the public-private investments in clean energy that are required to create a clean energy future here at home and compete in what will be one of the world’s biggest industries, totaling as much as $2.3 trillion by 2020. Right now Ernst and Young ranks China as the most attractive country in the world to invest in renewable energy, far outpacing the United States, with investors spending nearly $100 billion on renewable energy in China in the last two years.

Today’s attack ads out of the Romney camp rely on error-filled reporting when, in fact, the Congressional Research Service, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and, most importantly, an independent review led by Sen. John McCain’s national finance chair all found that the DOE program poses very low risk to taxpayers, and that the risk has been properly accounted for. Thirty-four CEOs wrote of its efficacy in jumpstarting the economy last year: “This program has already proven its ability to deliver: It has committed more than $26 billion in loans and loan guarantees to projects that represent $42 billion in investment in our still struggling U.S. economy. These investments represent an estimated 58,000 direct and indirect jobs across 19 states.” For every $100 the government lends or guarantees, it only costs taxpayers 94 cents.

For more than two centuries, the U.S. government has made smart investments in strategically important industries, such as agriculture, transportation, telecommunications, and energy—investments that have allowed American businesses and entrepreneurs to get ahead. The United States didn’t expect the Apollo project to reach the moon in its first year, and didn’t abandon the program when the program had setbacks. We continued to invest and engage the government in an industry that is now continuing to work in partnership with the private sector. Throughout history we have tackled hard projects before; as a nation we don’t shirk from tough problems when the work gets tough.

To read the full memo, click here.

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To speak with CAP experts, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or [email protected].