Wind Production Tax Credit Moves Forward
Clean energy tax provisions drive private investment, create jobs, reduce harmful pollution, and strengthen our competitiveness. That’s why we need Congress to pass a multi-year extension of the wind energy production and investment tax credits immediately.
The Wind Works Campaign gained additional momentum Thursday when the Senate Finance committee voted to extend the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) for a full year. The move also allows projects that begin construction before January 1, 2014 to qualify for the incentive as well.
As with previous PTC renewal votes, the committee approved the bill with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 19 to 5. And it’s a good thing they did. With today’s news that unemployment remains at 8.3 percent, this bill is needed even more than ever. The PTC and ITC could create nearly a half a million jobs by 2030. Extending the wind energy production tax credit today could prevent 37,000 Americans from losing their jobs in the wind industry.
Meanwhile, the investment tax credit reduces federal income taxes based on capital investment, which helps to support the offshore wind industry Offshore wind is indeed our largest untapped clean energy resource and is an industry that could create many more manufacturing jobs.
The wind industry, buoyed by this critical incentive, has grown tremendously in the past 20 years. Since2007, wind has accounted for 35% of all new electricity generating capacity. It is now cost-competitive with fossil fuels, and between the years of 2005-2011, helped attract on average of $15 billion in investment compared to the $1.2 billion this credit cost the federal government. In 10 states, wind accounts for 10% of electricity. In Iowa and South Dakota, wind produces about 20% of the state’s electricity.
Today the industry supports 75,000 jobs. These jobs are good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced, and we need Senate Leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to bring this legislation to the Senate floor for a vote immediately to protect these jobs.
We also need the House to take note. They have their work cut out for them, and we must urge them to start work on a tax package today. Representative Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), who is spearheading the House Ways and Means Committee’s efforts on this issue, repeated yesterday that his legislation will not be ready until after the November election. That’s simply not soon enough.
Campaign season is coming up, during which candidates will be talking about what they did or would do for jobs. This should be at the top of everyone’s list. Maybe your member needs a friendly reminder- help them remember by taking action today.
-- Radha Adhar, Sierra Club Associate Washington Representative