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Lawmakers Across the Political Spectrum Speak Up: We Want The Wind Tax Credit Extended

By Stephen Lacey

"Lawmakers Across the Political Spectrum Speak Up: We Want The Wind Tax Credit Extended"

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Bipartisan support for the production tax credit continues to pour in from around the country. This week, the National Governor’s Association sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to extend key tax credits for wind and other renewables.

Citing the need to stimulate new types of economic activity and maintain job growth in the clean energy sector, the bi-partisan organization called for a four-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC):

Predictable tax policies provide a foundation for renewable energy development and can play an important role in our nation’s economic recovery. Therefore we are encouraging an extension of the both the PTC and ITC for at least 4 years. These tax credits can continue to encourage robust investment and deployment of renewable technologies by affording industry a reliable investment framework within which to operate.

Also adding to the public call for an extension of wind tax credits were the commissioners of Wheatland County, Montana. Wheatland County is a very conservative area of the country. According to one clean energy campaigner, getting these commissioners to write the public statement is “deeply encouraging” and shows “there are still elected officials with common sense.”

With the help of the additional taxes from the Judith Gap Wind Farm, Wheatland County has benefited greatly. We have a new county shop and fire hall, a great tax base as well as a grant program that benefits nonprofit organizations in our county.

The potential for more wind farms is in jeopardy if the U.S. Congress does not vote to extend federal tax incentives such as the Federal Production Tax Credit. Support is needed from Sen. Max Baucus, Sen. John Tester and Rep. Dennis Rehberg as well as the Montana public to ensure progress continues and that Montana meets its full potential.

These are two in a long series of letters written by conservative and progressive politicians in favor of clean energy tax credits.

The PTC provides project owners with a credit of 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. It will expire at the end of this year. Since tax credits were introduced for the wind industry, they have stimulated tens of billions of dollars in private investment and helped drive the cost of wind down by 90%. However, with natural gas prices at historic (and unsustainable) lows, an expiration of the credit would freeze the industry overnight — potentially killing 37,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, even though the top five oil companies brought in $137 billion in profits last year, they still receive billions in U.S. tax breaks each year — with many of those credits permanently imbedded in the tax code.

At the end of last month, 47 Senators voted against the PTC while voting in favor for keeping $24 billion in tax cuts for oil companies.

Let’s be honest: It is a national scandal that lawmakers in Congress continue to vote against tax credits for wind — threatening 37,000 American jobs and preventing the country from taking the slightest steps forward on addressing climate change — while keeping in place tax credits for oil and gas.

Congress needs to listen up to the loud bipartisan chorus calling for support of wind.

‹ Reporting From The Front Lines Of The Climate Fight

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10 Responses to Lawmakers Across the Political Spectrum Speak Up: We Want The Wind Tax Credit Extended

  1. squidboy6 says:

    it’s all about jobs, Green Jobs, which are producing tax revenues. Sure beats the hell outta sending money to another country (even Canada) and fracking which has caused quakes as well as groundwater pollution.

    Guess that Romney will deny this one as well as the other platforms which the rabid right wing doesn’t like!

  2. Dave Bradley says:

    Dear Climatic Sanity Folks,

    Why on earth do you hink the Rethuglicans wan to do the right thing by e economy, cilmate, our earth oreven to help their own community. This is trench warfare. They will not allow an extension of the PTC/ITC/section 1603/MACRS incentives precisely because they are good for our country (well, FITs would be a VAST improvement, buts thats another story -the PTC type stuff is better than NOTHING).

    So what if 40,000 people suddenly get Unemployed when the wind industry crashes in January 2012. Hey view that as a success. These people, assuming hey are actual human beings, are psychopathic and then some. Totally bereft of empathy, of any semblance of hunity.

    Logic means squat to them. To get a viable wind industry will require aked poliical power. Some liberal balls, if you will. Wimpiness won’t cut it.

    DB

  3. Raul M. says:

    There was once an old farmer who had heard of a wondrous contraption that could be put out where the cattle grazed. It would stand tall with fan blades to turn in the wind.and would pump water for the herd. The water would just be there for the.livestock.
    So he ordered one at great expense and entertained a large group of neighbors as the windmill began to turn and pump water. But no it wasn’t water that came out of the ground, it was a black crude that the cattle ran from. The farmer was so upset and the neighbors didn’t know what to think. So he had that windmill taken down and shipped back, only to find that the factory rep. was saying that it was a damaged product with whatever it was all inside the pump shaft.
    Needless to say that word “windmill” was stricken from the county vocabulary for quite some time.
    In earlier times leave “it” in the ground had much merit. And the need to water the livestock was still there.
    So it is with the windmills being able to generate electricity from the wind, the people’s need for electricity is there and the wind is there.

  4. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    The Grand Oil Party. The GOP is owned by the oil industry. On the other-hand oil only rents Democrats.

    Wind is not oil or gas or coal therefore an anathema to the GOP. Oil profits come before anything else.

  5. Peter says:

    Bit off topic- had the thrill of chatting with Mike Mann on FB earlier- wow!.

  6. Leif says:

    Wind is good. Green money out of the wind. Stays in our country. Stays in our State. Stays in our community.

    • Leif says:

      Most important of all is wind energy helps to heal Earth’s Life Support Systems. Every one. For pennies a day extra and falling fast. The only down side is the GOP will lose a fat revenue stream. Not to mention POWER! Of course I count those as a positive as well.

      By Green Power – Keep the revenue stream.

  7. Sasparilla says:

    Seems the Republicans where enough used to support these types of bills – is no longer the case (and hasn’t been for a couple of years).

    The new normal is that GOP House and Senate members are threatened with guaranteed well funded radical primary challengers if they vote for climate change or green energy bills (and some other things) – thank the Koch’s specifically for this situation.

    I hope to God the wind and solar federal support is extended somehow, but with the House in truly radical GOP hands it does not look good.

    Stephen Lacy do you have a feel for how likely the House is to support Federal Wind support extensions?

  8. John Tucker says:

    I know I promote nuclear power a lot but it kinda boggles the mind. I mean just as they really start making wind power work very well and be environmentally safe – they consider dropping subsides.

    It would be funny if it were not so sad. I wish half the people that argued with me over the last year about the safety of nukes took the opportunity to lobby as strongly for wind power now.

    Even I see its worth it.