Clean Power

Published on July 4th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


16 House Republicans Push House Leadership to Pass PTC Extension for Wind Power & US Jobs

July 4th, 2012 by  

I meant to publish this news last week when it came through, but it somehow slipped through the cracks… oh yeah, I have about 100 articles I’d like to publish that I haven’t yet, and consistently in such a situation. Anyway, with it being the 4th of July and all, I figured this was as good a time as any to emphasize this push to create/save tens of thousands of US jobs.

Last week, “16 Republican House freshmen and two of their Democratic colleagues sent a letter to House leadership requesting immediate extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for American wind energy,” the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) noted.

“I want to thank Rep. Kristi Noem and her 17 colleagues in the House freshman class for fighting for USA wind jobs. They understand that affordable, homegrown wind power is creating one of our best new sources of clean American electricity and tens of thousands of American manufacturing jobs in the process,” AWEA CEO Denise Bode stated.

“The PTC is an example of effective, job-creating tax policy, but with expiration looming at the end of the year, 37,000 good American jobs are in peril. That is why Congress must act now to save USA wind jobs and keep this success story moving forward.”

Along with this statement, AWEA included mention of the following salient facts:

Bipartisan support

–Supporters in both parties have been raising this issue since late last year as an urgent action item for Congress, including more than 100 cosponsors of HR 3307 (almost a quarter of them Republicans) and S 2201.

–The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau, and Edison Electric Institute are among over 400 organizations and companies endorsing the PTC extension.

–A bipartisan coalition of 23 governors led by Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) supports extending the PTC. Gov. Branstad recently wrote The Wall Street Journal on its economic benefits.

–Republican, Democratic and Independent voters broadly support wind power and its expansion.

–Highlighting the bipartisan nature of wind power was a recent dialogue between Karl Rove, former senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former Press Secretary and advisor to President Obama at WINDPOWER 2012 in Atlanta, Ga. As Rove stated, “You don’t need moderates to get this done. You need conservative Republicans who say this means jobs to my district and a resource we’ve got plenty of. And you need Democrats to say this is a way to expand the range of options that we have as a country for energy.”

The wind energy Production Tax Credit

–American wind power’s key federal incentive (the 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour Production Tax Credit, or PTC) only applies to projects that succeed in putting electricity on the grid. It will expire Dec. 31, 2012, unless Congress extends it.

–The PTC has not been allowed to expire since 2005, when President George W. Bush signed it into law as part of the Energy Policy Act.

–This successful policy over the past five years has incentivized $15.5 billion a year on average in private investment in the U.S. U.S. domestic content has expanded from 25% to over 60% today. Wind has installed 35% of all U.S. electric generating capacity, a close second to natural gas.

American wind power

–Using wind to generate utility-scale electricity was invented in America, and a vast U.S. resourceof this clean, homegrown energy is still available to be tapped.

–Technological innovation and domestic sourcing has helped drive down costs of electricity for utilities and consumers, since transportation alone can be 20% of the cost of installing a wind turbine.

–Over 470 new American factories currently employ 30,000 workers in the wind energy supply chain from coast-to-coast. But orders for 2013 now hang on the tax credit’s extension.

–Layoffs are beginning across the industry because of uncertainty over the PTC, with 10,000 jobs expected to be lost by year’s end, and 37,000 job losses predicted within a year in a study by Navigant Consulting.

–On the other hand, Navigant said that with predictable policies, wind could grow to 100,000 jobs by 2016. And, the U.S. Department of Energy predicted during the Bush administration that wind could support 500,000 jobs by 2030, and make 20% of America’s electricity.

“Wind projects typically have an 18- to 24-month development cycle. So effectively the PTC is already expiring,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “That is why an extension is urgently needed now. We can’t afford to wait until the PTC runs out.”

Image Credit: American flag & wind turbines via Shutterstock

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Ktom

    PTC a BAD economic idea.  Subsidizing uneconomic wind energy when the nation is already in debt.  If wind power is so good, why does it need subsidies?  Also, false notion of creating jobs, as added green jobs come at the expense of other jobs, lost due to government meddling in the economy.  New jobs not the same as PRODUCTIVE jobs.  You can created jobs by just using goverment money to pay people to dig holes — good for new jobs but bad for economy.  Same concept as wind power “new jobs”.  Economic nonsense

    • Bob_Wallace

      Obviously the PTC for wind is not a BAD economic idea because it’s helped the wind industry mature to the point at which wind has become a very economical, clean way to produce electricity.  

      So you start with a fail.

      And you score no points in your following ramble.

      Jobs are being created, and they are good jobs.  Not sending people into coal  mines where they risk their lives and sacrifice their health is a good thing.

    • Good policy: created tens of thousands of jobs and clean electricity that doesn’t result in countless deaths from pollution. also drove down the price of wind power considerably.

      As far as subsidies/investment: this is essentially the same subsidy its fossil fuel competitors have in place permanently. also, if you know that one year you will get a 30% tax credit and the next year you might not and the following year you might again, and your project timeline is 18 months, what would you do? wait until the subsidy comes back? or throw away 30% of your investment?

      As far as jobs, it’s actually not equal. Wind power creates more jobs than coal or natural gas. here’s a quick graphic for you:

  • Ross

    The green, clean future of energy generation and use is going to win in the end. It is only a matter of time before the GOP switches sides to the winning team. For the planet’s sake they should do so quickly.

  • Matt

    It is really a very small group holding the US over a barrel. As can be seen by the freshman class calling out the leadership.

    • Yeah, unfort., that side is so hierarchical and so tribal-minded that a few horrible people at the top control a lot of power.

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