Wind energy: Kansas Gov. Brownback right to call for PTC extension

In an editorial focused on Kansas’s growing energy potential (with both oil and wind power), the Kansas City Star recently praised Sunflower State Gov. Sam Brownback (R) for supporting an extension of the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC).

Commented the newspaper, "At last week’s [WINDPOWER 2012] conference [in Atlanta], the governor had excellent reasons for his stand.

“’More than 1,200 new, high-paying manufacturing jobs have been announced in Kansas in the last two years directly related to renewable energy,’ he said. ‘Kansas also has more wind energy construction projects under way than any other state, with at least 663 new turbines set to be installed and nearly $3 billion of new investment from 2011 to the end of 2012.’

"Extension of the federal tax credit would help the industry expand in Kansas while keeping electricity rates more reasonable for customers."

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 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 101 cosponsors, including 23 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.

Tom Gray,