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Biden Visits Clean Energy Manufacturing Plant in New Mexico

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Biden Visits Clean Energy Manufacturing Plant in New Mexico
Photo by Werner Slocum, NREL

President Joe Biden’s visit on August 9, 2023, held substantial significance. His destination: a wind tower manufacturing plant nestled in Belen, New Mexico. The purpose of this visit was to illuminate the ongoing economic transformation.

The catalyst behind this transformation was his administration’s resolute investment in clean energy. The plant, presently under Arcosa’s ownership, has an intriguing history. It was once a steel mill that had ceased operations back in 2015.

Nonetheless, the mill’s fortunes were revitalized by the winds of change. These winds arrived in the form of tax credits embedded in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The substantial financial influx breathed new life into the plant, prompting its revival in 2022. Currently, its primary output revolves around wind towers, crucial components of renewable energy endeavors.

These towers find homes in diverse renewable projects spread across the nation. President Biden utilized this visit to emphasize a pivotal point. He saw this plant as an emblem, representative of America’s shift towards clean energy. Moreover, he underscored the plant’s role as a generator of well-paying jobs. He pinpointed these employment opportunities as sprouting across the nation.

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The IRA’s contributions, he proclaimed, were pivotal in propelling the nation forward. It wasn’t just about clean energy; it was about America leading the global clean energy charge. This visit held a place within a broader scheme. President Biden’s tour encompassed three states in the American West.

The goal was to illuminate his economic strategy, particularly his infrastructure investments. These investments, he believed, were pivotal in enhancing economic conditions. This strategy gains paramount importance due to the impending 2024 reelection campaign.

Biden aimed to convince voters that his policies bore fruit, rejuvenating the economy and job market. However, the visit’s connotations extended beyond mere economic policy. It underlined clean energy’s central role in President Biden’s environmental agenda.