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Published on August 28th, 2013 | by AWEA

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Republican & Democrat In House Push For More Renewable Energy Support



Originally published on the AWEA blog, Into The Wind.
by Rob Gramlich

House Republicans and Democrats joined together last week to co-sign a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means recommending that renewable energy development receive continued support in any forthcoming comprehensive tax reform debate. The effort was led by Representatives Paul Ruiz (D-CA), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and was signed by 60 Representatives.

In a statement released with the letter, Rep. Ruiz commented, “Renewable energy is a critical area of economic growth … We have to work together to advocate for renewable energy jobs, domestic manufacturing and American energy independence.”

The bipartisan letter noted, “While investment in a number of countries has increased in recent years, the United States saw a 34% decrease in renewable energy investment last year due to policy uncertainty. Maintaining policies in the tax code that promote investment in and deployment of renewable energy technologies will help ensure that the American consumer continues to benefit from renewable energy innovations while also reaping the benefits of a diverse energy economy.”

Mars Hill FW2

The wind industry has long advocated for the kind of policy certainty that has been enjoyed by other domestically produced energy sources. While the American wind industry has recently grown at a record pace – an average of 30 percent annually over the last five years—almost no new wind farms were built in the first half of 2013 because of Congress’s delay in extending the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC). This abrupt slowdown vividly demonstrates the importance of consistent long-term policy.

Wind’s growth has been powered by private investment paired with smart tax policy. Last year was our industry’s best ever, as $25 billion in new investment paved the way for a “bumper crop” of new wind projects.

As a result, wind turbine costs continue to decline–more than 50 percent over the last four years alone–and those savings have been passed on to consumers. In fact, newly built wind generation is now cost competitive with all forms of electricity production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Clean, affordable, and homegrown, American wind power is driving economic growth and continuing to earn bipartisan support.

Photo Credit: First Wind – Mars Hill Wind Project, Maine

Related articles:

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Wind power good for America: Answering a question that’s already been answered, April 18, 2013
Koch-funded Institute for Energy Research fails on facts, April 18, 2013
South Dakota legislation provides economic development opportunities, April 18, 2013
Fact check: Tang Energy’s Jenevein off target with swipes at wind power, April 2, 2013
Pew: U.S. clean-energy surplus with China attributable to policy, March 14, 2013
DOE official: Wind taking flight in Oregon, February 14, 2013
Fact check: Graybeal story relies on IER, misses facts, January 29, 2013
Fact check: Brookings’s Ebinger off target with criticism of wind, January 16, 2013
Reaction to PTC extension generally upbeat, January 8, 2013
Congress extends wind energy tax credits for projects that start in 2013, January 2, 2013
Colorado wind jobs seen hinging on PTC extension, December 31, 2012
Sen. Grassley provides Q&A on PTC, December 28, 2012

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About the Author

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Keep up with all the latest wind industry news at: http://www.aweablog.org/blog/



  • Matt

    While I’m glad someone stood up. Its was only 65 of 435 (15%). And it just signing a letter not voting. From a national defense stand point we should be pushing for:
    - 50% of electric green by 2020. I’ll even let big hydro in that very low goal.
    - Complete cut of oil/gas/coal support (ask stated International agreements)
    - Drop nuclear support also
    Now if they were smart they would also add a GHG (based on use) fee, plus a triple the amount on any fuel exported. Funds from this would go:
    - 50% to cash credit to each tax payer, yes you have to file sorry.
    - 25% for PV, heat pumps, and efficiency improvements to public buildings.
    - 25% for deployment of new items. Example, micro grid, grid storage, PV quick charge, etc.

    For the export fee, you take the lower 50% efficient US industry would have paid if they used that fuel (GHG fee) and triple it. And yes, part of the GHG fee would be on petro for your car/truck.

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