Coalition, Governors urge extension of wind tax incentive

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A broad, nonpartisan coalition of 369 members, including manufacturing, farm and business interests, sent a letter Thursday to House and Senate leaders endorsing a four year extension to wind energy’s key federal tax incentive, the Production Tax Credit.

Legislation recently introduced by Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) would extend the existing Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy, which is set to expire at the end of 2012, through 2016 (H.R. 3307, the “American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act”).

Signatories to the letter include the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, the Western Governors’ Association, the United Steelworkers and many members of the environmental community.

“Now is not the time to increase taxes on wind energy,” the coalition letter said. “The PTC should be extended for at least another four years so that American know-how can keep producing domestic clean energy.”

The letter says that when the PTC has expired in the past, installations have dropped between 73 and 93 percent, with corresponding job losses, and that an expiration of the PTC at this time would jeopardize this new American manufacturing sector. “The next few years are critical to ensure that properly sited wind energy is a viable part of a balanced domestic electricity portfolio,” the letter says.

The coalition letter follows a similar missive letter addressed earlier this week to congressional leaders from Govs. Lincoln Chafee (I-R.I.) and Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) urging Congress to “promptly pass a multi-year extension of the wind tax credit.” Chafee is chair of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, a group that includes 23 governors Republican, Democratic, and Independent from around the nation, while Branstad is vice-chair.

“Wind-related manufacturing is beginning to slow in our states because the credit has not yet been extended,” the governors write. “If Congress pursues a last minute approach to the extension, the anticipated interruption of the credit’s benefits will result in a significant loss of high-paying jobs in a growing sector of the economy.”

Like the coalition, the governors support the Reichert-Blumenauer measure, saying it represents a “more consistent and longer-term federal tax policy to support wind energy development in the United States.”

Source: 25x’25 Weekly Resource

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