By an overwhelming, bi-partisan margin of 19-5, the Senate Finance Committee today (August 7) passed the “Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act,” legislation that would extend both the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) for utility-scale wind power and the investment tax credit (ITC) for community and offshore wind power, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced.
If passed by Congress, “these extensions would drive the growth of American wind industry manufacturing jobs and billions of dollars in private investment in homegrown energy,” AWEA stated.
Vote Greeted with Guarded Optimism
AWEA, along with US wind power industry and market participants and supporters, greeted the welcome news with cautious optimism, as previous efforts to extend the wind power PTC and ITC have come to naught.
“While there are several more steps that need to be taken in the legislative process in order for this extension to be passed into law, this is a very positive development, as it positions the tax credit extensions to be part of final tax extenders negotiations,” explained AWEA vice president of Public Affairs Peter Kelley.
“While the full Senate may take a vote on the bill in September, the House of Representatives has stated that it will not take up tax extension legislation prior to the November elections.”
Response from the US wind power market and industry participants has been mixed. Some, such as wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, are cautiously encouraged by the PTC’s revival, while some of nation’s largest utilities, including Chicago-based Exelon, are working to assure the tax credit extension doesn’t make it through Congress.
As part of its “Power of Wind: Powering a Cleaner, Stronger America” campaign, AWEA is urging US wind power supporters to use its website to send a “Thank You” letter to senators on the Senate Finance Committee who voted in favor the bill.
I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.