Wind energy critical to America?s security

At a press event in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) joined retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General John Castellaw; Mike Breen, Vice President of the Truman National Security Project; and Jeff Duff, President of veterans clean jobs training company Airstreams Renewables, to talk about how critical renewing the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) is to America’s economic and national security. The PTC is an important federal program without which 37,000 jobs and $10-20 billion of domestic investment will be lost next year and thereafter.

Congressman Thompson, a Vietnam Army veteran and member of the House Ways and Means Committee, made clear the urgency of passing an extension of the PTC: “We must do everything we can to encourage the use of clean, renewable, and domestic sources of energy. That is why I have coauthored legislation that would extend the Production Tax Credit. Extending these tax incentives will give businesses certainty, help create and save more than 50,000 American jobs in the next four years, and allow us to strengthen our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Congress should act now.”

Wind turbines is a critical part of America’s energy independence. Wind farm is the second-fastest growing source of energy in America, producing enough wind power for 10 million American homes. This growth in wind energy is possible because of the Wind PTC, which rewards companies for producing clean wind power. This federal tax incentive program provides 2.2 cents to companies for every kilowatt-hour produced for their first 10 years of operation.

“We’re going to need sources of energy we can rely on in the 21st century,” said Breen. “Wind energy is already a clean source of power that provides energy for ten million American homes. We should be doing whatever we can to take advantage of this reliable source of domestic power. If Members of Congress take America’s energy security seriously, they will work quickly to renew the Wind Production Tax Credit.”

Learn more at Operation Free is an advocacy campaign of the Truman National Security Project.

The PTC provides an income tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 93 cosponsors, including 21 Republicans, while a Senate bill to extend it was introduced March 15 by seven Senators, including three Republicans. PTC extension efforts have 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, the National Governors Association, and the bipartisan Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which includes 23 Republican and Democratic Governors from across the U.S. A PTC extension has been endorsed by a number of newspapers across the country, including the Houston Chronicle, The New York Times, the Denver Post, and the Daily Oklahoman.

Tom Gray,