Wind power: Illinois Representatives supports PTC extension

Four U.S. Representatives from the Illinois Congressional delegation have signed a letter to the Leadership of the House and Senate calling for "a short-term Production Tax Credit (PTC) extension for wind energy at the earliest opportunity in the first quarter of 2012."

According to the four, "Wind energy has provided countless benefits to our state, including tremendous economic development, new manufacturing jobs, and an increased domestic energy supply. The PTC has been the critical force behind this success. In 2011, Illinois ranked first in the nation for new turbine installation, bringing our total wind energy output to 2,743 megawatts, fourth in the nation. The wind industry has contributed significantly to our economic recovery, supporting over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs, and ushering in a brand new manufacturing industry that complements the skilled Illinois work force. There are over 100 wind turbines related businesses operating across our state, with thousands more contributing to the supply chain. …

"However, the PTC for wind farm is set to expire at the end of 2012. The economic growth, infrastructure, jobs, and manufacturing are at risk of grinding to a halt–not just in Illinois, but also across the country. The wind turbines industry, like all industries, needs some certainty to allow for continued growth. If the PTC is not extended immediately, our communities back home stand to lose jobs, manufacturing, infrastructure, and private investment."

The letter is signed by Reps. Robert J. Dold (R), Jan Schakowsky (D), Timothy V. Johnson (R), and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D).

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 70 cosponsors, including 18 Republicans. This legislation has received the endorsement of a broad coalition of more than 370 members, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Edison Electric Institute, and the Western Governors’ Association. A PTC extension also has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S.

Tom Gray,