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Company Would Abandon Ohio Wind Project Without Tax Credit, Losing 200 Jobs In John Boehner’s Home State

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"Company Would Abandon Ohio Wind Project Without Tax Credit, Losing 200 Jobs In John Boehner’s Home State"

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Will Boehner put a stop to the heel dragging over wind tax credits? AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

A new survey shows that Ohio — the home state of House Speaker John Boehner — supports between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs in the wind industry.

But those jobs are now under imminent threat as a key tax credit for the industry nears expiration at the end of this year.

Just this week, a wind company in Ohio said it will abandon plans for a $20 million, 54-turbine project without an extension of the production tax credit (PTC). The project would create between 150-200 construction jobs for Ohioans, according to Everpower Renewables, the company building the wind farm.

The cost and price of wind electricity have come down steadily in recent years, allowing wind companies to sign power purchase agreements for as little as a few cents per kilowatt-hour. However, the glut of supply in the natural gas sector — a sector that enjoys numerous permanent tax credits for drilling and production — has made it difficult for wind producers to compete without an equivalent tax credit.

The PTC provides an owner of a wind farm with a tax credit of 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity generated. The credit has allowed the wind industry to compete with the heavily-subsidized fossil fuel industry and expand dramatically throughout the U.S.

Under Speaker Boehner, the House of Representatives has failed to extend this key tax credit for wind — even with very strong support from many Republicans. 47 members of the Senate has also balked on the credits, voting to preserve $24 billion in oil and gas industry tax credits, while voting down the PTC for the wind industry.

In the last five years, wind has brought $20 billion of annual private investment to the U.S., according to the American Wind Energy Association. There are now 75,000 jobs across the country in wind manufacturing, operations, maintenance and education.

With the PTC under threat, the industry says it expects around 37,000 job losses in the coming year. The wind turbine manufacturer Vestas (which, coincidentally, provided the wind turbines for Ohio’s first wind project) says it will lay off 1,600 American workers if the credit is not extended.

There are reportedly no U.S. new wind projects in the works for 2013 due to the uncertainty around tax credits.

Over the last few months, numerous coalitions of bi-partisan political leaders have sent letters to Congress urging immediate passage of the PTC. Congress has continually failed to act.

Speaker Boehner says that jobs are his top priority for 2012. And he has the opportunity to save hundreds — if not thousands — in his own home state just by helping pass a simple extension of the wind tax credit.

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6 Responses to Company Would Abandon Ohio Wind Project Without Tax Credit, Losing 200 Jobs In John Boehner’s Home State

  1. Sasparilla says:

    I’d sure love to see this extended (and for more than a few years), although without it blowing up into a PR embarrassment (the President could make this happen), I can’t see the GOP doing it – the GOP leadership seems to be securely in the pockets / influence / fear of the Tea Party wackos and the Koch Bros. who want all green energy dead and are paying handsomely (& guiding the tea party movement) to see that vision achieved.

  2. M Tucker says:

    The Republicans in congress do not care about jobs. They do not care about unemployed Americans. They want the unemployment numbers high and they want alternative energy to fail. They will blame everything on President Obama even if they are responsible. They do not put America’s interests first they put their petty political necessities above all else. President Obama has no control over the congress. He can point fingers but he can’t make them do the right thing or anything at all. Congress really has all the power and that is why the House and Senate races are perhaps even more important that the presidential race. If the Democrats lose the Senate the Supreme Court will be packed with a conservative majority that could last a generation. Even with a Democratic president a Republican Senate could block all nominees until a conservative candidate is put forward.

  3. Leif says:

    “We the People” still have a chance to blow a kiss to Boehner et. al. in the next election. As I see it, it is sink or swim for humanity. The closest thing we have to to a Green Party is the internet and the global community of sprouting blooms and the evidence of gorgeous blooms of the past. “Love” is our only weapon, peace, justice, survivability, our reward. There is an old saying in the boat world: “Never go to sea in a boat you would not be proud to have as your coffin.”

    After all it does take a bit of effluent to nurturer beautiful flowers. We all have our roots in a bit of crap and there is currently a ton of it available to fertilize a field of beauty if we can just get our heads above the ground and see the SUN.

  4. SecularAnimist says:

    Stephen Lacey wrote: “Speaker Boehner says that jobs are his top priority for 2012. And he has the opportunity to save hundreds — if not thousands — in his own home state just by helping pass a simple extension of the wind tax credit.”

    Speaker Boehner is a liar and anyone who believes that jobs are his top priority is a fool.

    In reality, Boehner’s top priority for 2012 is protecting the profits of the fossil fuel corporations, and he has the opportunity to ensure hundreds of millions — if not billions — of dollars in profits to the coal and natural gas corporations by shutting down the wind power industry.

    • Calamity Jean says:

      “Speaker Boehner is a liar and anyone who believes that jobs are his top priority is a fool.”

      Yes. Thank you. This needs to be said frequently.

  5. otter17 says:

    Too bad. I know Ohio is home to some good wind resources in the Lake Erie area, as well as an excellent magazine called “Windpower Engineering” that I subscribe to.