Support tax credit to help Ohio wind power industry

I have worked in the Ohio wind energy industry since I helped Pearl Road Auto Parts and Wrecking, a family-owned business in Cleveland, take the bold step of investing in the city’s first commercially owned wind turbine. Since then, Ohio has transformed into a wind energy powerhouse, investing in jobs, clean energy and a green future.

Today, more than 50 companies across Ohio are manufacturing parts and supporting homegrown jobs for the wind turbines industry. In fact, Ohio was the fasting growing state for new installations in 2011, growing more than 950 percent and creating 4,000 Ohio jobs.

One of the most important incentives on the federal level responsible for that growth is the Production Tax Credit, which helps level the playing field between renewables and fossil fuels, since the government highly subsidizes fossil fuels. Without the tax credit, many of these jobs would be lost, and the wind industry will fail to grow.

Ohio needs to be a leader as the United States transitions toward relying on cleaner, renewable sources of power. I urge Ohio’s U.S. congressional delegation to support the tax credit.

Stefanie Penn Spear
Moreland Hills

Spear is president of Expedite Renewable Energy and editor of

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 wind turbines. It is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it first. A recent study by Navigant Consulting found that extending the Production Tax Credit will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration would kill 37,000 jobs within a year.

A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 97 cosponsors, including 22 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, the Daily Oklahoman, and the Toledo Blade.