Wind energy: PTC extension makes sense

The Daily Oklahoman Sunday joined a growing list of newspapers endorsing an extension of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), noting that Oklahoma ranked fifth among the states last year in new wind farm generating capacity installed.

"Energy-related tax incentives are about as old as the use of electricity to light homes," said the Oklahoman, adding, "Decades-old credits for fossil fuels were joined in 1992 by the PTC, which has stimulated investment in wind power — from the manufacturing of equipment to the construction and maintenance of the turbines that are now a common sight in western Oklahoma …

"Oklahoma is blessed with an abundance of natural resources that can be used to run vehicles, heat homes and make electricity. For most of the years since statehood, wind power was confined to the devices on farms that pulled up water for stock tanks. Not anymore. The share of power made from wind farm in Oklahoma was 5.1 percent in 2010. That figure has been growing by the year as new turbines are added and transmission facilities are improved."

The editorial also noted the growth of wind turbines manufacturing in the state, concluding, "As an emerging and vital industry … wind power needs the investment boost that would result from extending the tax credit."

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,