Obama knocks Romney on renewable energy, tax shelter

Thu Aug 9, 2012 11:09pm GMT

* President stresses need to support U.S. wind energy

* Romney campaign slams 'massive subsidies and handouts'

By Jeff Mason

PUEBLO, Colorado, Aug 9 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, trying to blunt rival Mitt Romney's attacks on his economic record, accused the Republican on Thursday of promoting policies that would hurt renewable energy and cost jobs in important political swing states.

On the second day of a tour through Colorado, a politically divided state that could be key in deciding the Nov. 6 election, Obama portrayed federal tax credits for the wind industry as a critical economic necessity that Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, would nix.

"At a moment when homegrown energy - renewable energy - is creating new jobs in states like Colorado and Iowa, my opponent wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers," Obama told a crowd of some 3,500 people at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo.

The industry supports 5,000 jobs across Colorado, and 37,000 jobs would be at risk nationwide without the credits, he said.

"It's time to stop spending billions in taxpayer subsidies on an oil industry that is already making a lot of profit," Obama said. "Let's keep investing in new energy sources that have never been more promising."

The White House has made helping the renewable energy sector a centerpiece of Obama's first term in office, but the effort has created some problems for the D e mocratic president.   Continued...

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