Wind energy: Houston Chronicle editorial supports PTC extension

The Chronicle’s endorsement was noteworthy for its specifics on the growth of the wind power industry in Texas and elsewhere: "Wind now generates about 3 percent of the nation’s electricity and 7 percent of the electricity used in Texas. And the growth curve ahead is beyond promising, with renewable energy production expected to grow by 252 percent in the next two decades.

"The major question mark standing between the wind turbines industry and that promising future is the possible elimination of a federal tax credit that gives wind power a 2.2 cents per kilowatt subsidy …

"We believe there are two good arguments for keeping that subsidy. The first is that wind power is trending in the right direction, claiming more of a share of the national power grid as time passes. The second is unabashedly chauvinistic. With an abundance of wind and land, Texas will continue to be a major center for that power source. An incubation period that requires a relatively small subsidy, with a clear time limit and periodic review, seems a worthwhile investment in the energy future."

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 79 cosponsors, including 18 Republicans, and 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,