President Biden traveled to a wind turbine factory operated by a foreign-owned green energy firm in central Colorado on Wednesday to tout his “Bidenomics” and climate agenda.
Biden delivered remarks at South Korea-based CS Wind’s site in Pueblo, Colorado, which is undergoing a $200 million expansion with the help of federal funding earmarked under the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats’ $739 billion climate and tax package passed last year. The factory is the largest facility manufacturing wind towers, the part of wind turbines that carry the rotor and blades.
“When I took office, we set a goal to produce 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035,” Biden remarked during the ceremony. “Because of my commitment to a clean energy future made in America, clean energy companies started investing here in Colorado.”
“As I’ve said for a long time, when I think about climate, I mean it sincerely, I think jobs,” he continued. “It’s about, not only saving lives and saving the environment, but jobs.”
The factory was first constructed in 2009 by Danish green energy company Vestas which sold the property to CS Wind in 2021. The South Korean company then announced in September 2022 that it would expand the plant, which produces wind towers exclusively for onshore projects, just weeks after Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act.
According to CS Wind, the Pueblo facility mainly serves the U.S. market. The company’s “core facility” is located in Vietnam and its second facility — which serves markets in Europe, Asia and Africa, and sells towers to some of the largest wind energy companies in the world — is located in China. Other facilities are located in Taiwan, Malaysia, Turkey and Portugal.
The company also purchased the Colorado factory two years after abandoning a facility in Ontario, Canada, which had employed hundreds of people and received millions of dollars in tax incentives. The closure came as a surprise to local officials and labor unions.
“There’s no one working there,” Fred MacPherson, a business manager for Ironworkers Local 721, told local outlet Windsor Star in 2019. “We used to have 300 people working there and now there’s none.”
And CS Wind, which is publicly traded in South Korea, has seen its value plummet in recent months as the global wind energy industry has struggled under the weight of various economic factors in recent months. The company has shed a staggering 41% of its market value since mid-June, according to financial data.
Biden’s trip to promote CS Wind and his aggressive green energy agenda, meanwhile, was met with criticism from the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association which represents independent fossil fuel producers in the area.
“Our west slope families hear a lot from President Biden about recovery but we’re not feeling it,” Chelsie Miera, the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association’s executive director, told Fox News Digital. “Inflation continues to keep costs high, challenging family budgets, while uncertainty looms over our national economy.”
“Our local oil and natural gas workers stand ready to recover, but this administration continues to block and stymie our production of some of the cleanest and most dense energy molecules in the world,” Miera added. “With two different wars happening in energy intense regions in the world, it’s time for the President to allow our West Slope hardworking women and men to be part of the solution producing clean, affordable and reliable natural gas for the good of our communities and the globe.”
She noted that natural gas production on federal lands in Colorado declined nearly 20% between 2019 and 2022, while the Biden administration has not held a single lease sale in the Pueblo area since taking office. Miera said reducing oil and gas production burdens local counties with reduced revenues vital for schools, fire protection districts, libraries, water treatment facilities and other critical projects.
But the White House defended Biden’s trip, saying his Bidenomics agenda is ushering in significant investment in Colorado and nationwide. It also defended the president’s choice to tout a foreign company, saying the administration was reversing years of offshoring.
“Thanks to President Biden, businesses based in America and our partners are making historic investments here at home instead of offshoring jobs,” White House spokesperson Michael Kikukawa said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “They’re opening or expanding factories that employ American workers who are building American-made products — including the more than 800 jobs created in Colorado by CS Wind thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.”
“Bidenomics is creating jobs for American workers, reversing the offshoring caused by MAGAnomics during the Trump administration,” he continued. “Unfortunately, self-identified MAGA Republicans like Congresswoman Boebert want to repeal the investments that are powering economic growth in their districts — sending these jobs back overseas while giving more wasteful tax cuts to rich special interests.”
Overall, fossil fuels continue to represent by far the largest driver of the economy compared to other energy sources. Petroleum powers the vast majority of the transportation sector while natural gas and coal produced more than 60% of electricity generated in the U.S. last year. Just 10% of the nation’s electricity was generated by wind power.