The amendment would extend the PTC for two years and is paid for.
“Colorado is a proven leader in the development of wind energy production and would suffer a huge economic blow if this tax credit expires,” Sen. Bennet said. “The wind PTC has helped our state attract new companies and create thousands of jobs in a diverse energy sector. This credit has bipartisan support, and it is time for Congress to pass the extension to give companies in Colorado and across the country certainty for the foreseeable future.”
“If we expect the wind energy industry to provide for our country’s future energy needs and make long-term investments in their businesses, Congress must reauthorize the wind production tax credit (PTC) that expires this year,” Sen. Moran said. “Rather than make it more difficult for the private sector to develop energy sources, we should lower taxes, reduce overly burdensome regulations, and allow the private sector to succeed in the free market. Our failure to extend this tax credit would destabilize this growing manufacturing industry and cost thousands of American jobs.”
The amendment represents the most recent bipartisan effort by the Senators to secure an extension of the credit to provide certainty to wind energy businesses across the country. In February, they filed an amendment to the transportation bill to extend the credit; however, it was never brought to a vote. The Senators also joined several of their colleagues in sending a letter to Senate leadership urging them to consider legislation that will extend the PTC.
“Extending the wind Production Tax Credit is a real, tangible way Congress can help move the economy forward and keep good-paying U.S. jobs from being exported overseas to China and other countries,” Udall said. “This amendment complements my daily campaign to spur the Senate to renew the wind PTC. Congress must act to keep the United States on the cutting edge of renewable energy technology and on a path to secure our energy independence.”
Colorado is a wind energy leader, currently generating the third highest percentage of power from wind of any state in the nation. Colorado is home to several major wind energy developers and wind turbine manufacturing facilities, employing upwards of 6,000 workers statewide.
Kansas is ranked second in the United States in wind resource potential and leads the nation in wind capacity currently under construction. With hundreds of Kansans employed in manufacturing and installing wind farm components, Kansas is a national leader in wind energy production.
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 105 cosponsors, including 24 Republicans, while a similar Senate bill is cosponsored 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, www.awea.org/blog