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AWEA Blog - National survey: 60 percent of Americans back tax credits for wind energy

A recently released Texas A&M University National Energy Opinion Poll finds that 60 percent of Americans support “tax cuts for companies to develop renewable energy technologies,” and 21 percent favor focusing on wind power development

According to the national survey, 59 percent of those responding also favored increased research and development (R&D) funding for renewable energy sources, while 78 percent favor better fuel efficiency for cars and trucks.

The survey of 1,525 respondents, conducted in May, also found considerable concern about U.S. energy security, with 79 percent saying they feel dependence on foreign oil threatens national security either “a great deal” or “some.”

The survey was conducted by the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy (ISTPP) at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service in cooperation with the Texas A&M Energy Institute. Its findings mirror those of a number of other national surveys over the past few years that have found strong public support for wind and other renewable energy sources, even in the face of growing attacks on renewable energy by other competing energy industries.

The poll should give a boost to backers of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), which awaits consideration by Congress in a “lame duck” post-election session.

The PTC is an incentive that reduces taxes on the operators of wind farms and leaves more of the money they earn from electricity sales in private hands, helping to attract private investment not only in wind projects, but in component manufacturers, suppliers, trucking companies and more. The PTC provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale wind turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it first. A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the Production Tax Credit will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 110 cosponsors, including 25 Republicans, while a similar Senate bill is cosponsored by seven Senators, including three Republicans. PTC extension efforts have received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Western Governors’ Association. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Governors Association, and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S. A PTC extension has been endorsed by a number of newspapers across the country, including the Des Moines Register, the Denver Post, the Daily Oklahoman, the Toledo Blade, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times.

Further endorsements of the wind energy production tax credit.

American Wind Energy Association
Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
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