Extend the production tax credit, already!

Broken Solar PanelsLate last week the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), made up of over 500 organizations (including Fortune 500 companies like Google, universities, non-profits, etc.), presented a letter to Congress encouraging them to extend the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy.

As we’ve noted, the tax credits are at risk to lapse, which would just be a generally bad idea – for the economy, for renewable industries, for the potential job creation, and for the greenhouse gas reductions that the impacted projects could be making.

Pulling a few points from their letter:

  • If the PTC and ITC lapse, 42,000 MW of planned renewable energy projects in development in 45 states would be canceled. That’s the equivalent to 75 base load electricity generation stations.
  • Meanwhile, in 2007, $2.6 billion was invested in CleanTech alone. That amount has grown exponentially each year. Still, it is also threatened by the ITC’s lapse.
  • That in addition to the 116,000 wind and solar jobs at risk.

    ACORE points out in its article an invasion I’d also like to emphasize – the first week of March, Washington, DC hosts WIREC – the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference. The utility and attendance of the event I could hardly begin to describe. DC will be flooded with information and opportunity on renewables, and there will be so much to do (between panels, exhibits, side events, etc.), I don’t know how one could begin to create a schedule.

    That is the same feeling our Congress should feel – overwhelmed by the interest and opportunities of the future. Hundreds of companies and utilities have expressed their desire to see regulatory global warming legislation. And now hundreds more have signed on to encourage the solutions. Yet we still can’t seem to extend these credits – not even pass something new, just extend something that’s been around the last 7 years of this administration and beyond!

    It is no joke that the missing ingredient is political will, and it’s spoiling untold amounts.

    — Kari M.

    3 Responses to Extend the production tax credit, already!

    1. Paul K says:

      Where in the legislative process is PTC renewal?

    2. Jay Alt says:

      The Senate has been unable to overcome the Republican filibuster. They fell short twice by the narrowest margin, one vote. The first time was as part of the Energy Bill, H.R. 6. More recently as an add on to the economic stimulus package.

      In both cases, a Senator (who’ll be the nominee of his party and says he supports renewable energy) has been in Washington DC but didn’t bother to show up for the vote. Dec 07 Feb 08

      Reid of NV switched his vote to Nay the last time on a Senate procedural tactic. That will allow him to bring up the amendment again in the future.

    3. Jim Prall says:

      Yeah, that Senator who was absent for both votes that fell one vot short of stopping the nutbar filibuster would be Senator McCain. In December he was listed as absent due to campaign schedule. But is he missing many key votes like this due to the primary race? In the stimulus package vote he should have been able to make time to get back and vote if he wanted to. Is he ducking these critical votes where he would be the swing to bust the filibuster? Has anyone else noticed that? Maybe he does not want to take the heat from the party’s conservative wing?