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AWEA Blog - Flurry of PTC endorsements follows election

With the Nov. 6 election past, several newspapers have turned their attention to the lame-duck post-election session of Congress

With the Nov. 6 election past, several newspapers have turned their attention to the lame-duck post-election session of Congress, and announced or renewed their backing for an extension of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). Among them:

Denver Post (Nov. 15): Editorial titled “Wind tax credit is an easy call”: “Even if you wanted to argue with the economic wisdom of the wind-energy tax credit–as some Republicans do–you can’t deny that its absence would undermine a growing industry at a time of high unemployment. No doubt that’s why leading politicians of both parties have called for its extension. In the latest example, this week a bipartisan group of four governors, including Colorado’s John Hickenlooper, sent a letter to congressional leaders in an attempt to prod them into action. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking ever closer to the new year and wind projects remain on the shelf because investors have no idea what the lay of the land will be for this energy sector in 2013 and beyond.”

Quad-City (Iowa-Illinois) Times (Nov. 15): “We’re so glad to see Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad [R] and Sen. Chuck Grassley [R] joining a bipartisan call to extend the wind energy tax credit less than a week after Election Day … With [the tax credit], Iowa can continue its nation-leading development and training for this expanding American industry, anchoring green energy innovation in the Heartland, not overseas. The campaign season tricked many Americans into believing there were just two flavors of leadership in this country. Branstad and Grassley supported Mitt Romney, but not their candidate’s vow to end the wind energy tax credits. Branstad and Grassley’s leadership on this important Iowa issue proves that their partisan world didn’t end Nov. 6. Governance continues, as it must, with smart, informed leaders forming bipartisan coalitions to supporting their state and nation over party and progress over gridlock.”

Sioux City (Iowa) Journal (Nov. 15): “At a time when jobs, energy independence and producing clean, renewable fuels are near the top of this nation’s list of priorities, extension of the federal wind energy production tax credit would be money well spent. Wind energy advocates have mounted a full-court press to save the credit, which expires Dec. 31. We join them in urging Congress to support renewal … In our state, the nation’s second-largest producer of wind energy, the stakes are high. The growing industry supports thousands of jobs, either directly or indirectly. More than half of the state’s 99 counties have jobs tied directly to wind energy, according to [Gov. Terry] Branstad.”

Topeka (Kan.) Capital Journal (Nov. 14): “… Oil and gas are economically viable, but they still enjoy special exemptions and tax breaks, which those industries guard zealously. Picking on the wind energy tax production credit seems a lot like beating the new kid on the block. [Gov. Sam] Brownback [R] realizes that new kid on the block has potential and can play a role in growing the state’s economy. He and other members of the 28-state wind energy coalition [Governors' Wind Energy Coalition] should keep pushing.”

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 119 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.

For more information on this article or if you would like to know more about what www.windfair.net can offer, please do not hesitate to contact Trevor Sievert at ts@windfair.net

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