AWEA Statement on Successful Extension of the 1603 Tax Credit

The U.S. House last night approved final passage of the tax bill that includes a one-year extension of the 1603 investment tax credit for developing renewable energy sources such as wind power. Shortly before midnight, Republicans and Democrats came together to pass the bill without any amendments, so it is now ready for the President’s signature, now slated for this afternoon.

Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, thanked lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for extending the investment tax credit, which dates to 1992.

"This is a great holiday present for the 85,000 American workers in the wind energy industry, tens of thousands of whom will now be able to get back to work in a sector that has been a bright spot in the recession so far," Bode said. "Orders will be on the rise for new wind farm power, and investors will put more capital into the U.S. economy because of what happened in Congress last night.

"We’re already making 20 percent of the electricity in Iowa, and have made as much as 25 percent of the electricity in Texas," she said. "We hold the lead in building and expanding our U.S. wind turbines manufacturing base than most other industries. With the industry expansion this extension will incentivize, we’re going to be making a whole lot more affordable, homegrown electric power in the years to come."

Bode said she is looking forward to working with incoming Speaker John Boehner, a proponent of developing more domestic energy sources, and the rest of the new majority in the House. "The inclusion of renewable energy in the tax bill is a clear indication of strong bipartisan support for the wind industry, which will make more renewable energy than any other technology for decades," she said.

"As well as cutting taxes for Americans, this bill will help save ten of thousands of American jobs and allow wind energy to continue creating manufacturing and construction jobs in states that desperately need them, like Michigan and Kansas, where new wind turbines plants are ready to meet the demand that these tax credits will help create."

Upon learning that she had been invited to the White House to attend the bill signing ceremony, Bode stated "Representing the 85,000 employees of the U.S, wind energy industry at the signing of this bill is a tremendous honor. It further represents the President’s commitment to building a robust, clean, and homegrown energy source that will save and add thousands of American jobs."