The Denver Post today called for speedy action by Congress on extending the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind power, warning that “thousands of jobs could be lost in Colorado and other states” if lawmakers don't act soon.
AWEA has been pushing hard for an immediate extension, arguing that wind power is an American manufacturing success story and that thousands of new manufacturing jobs created by the wind industry could disappear without prompt action. It has pointed to an economic study finding that with stable tax policy, the wind industry can grow to almost 100,000 American jobs in the next four years.
The Post, however, pointed to a more concrete and immediate real-world concern: a statement by Vestas Wind Systems CEO Ditlev Engel that failure to extend the credit could affect 1,600 of the company's American jobs. In Colorado, where Vestas and its suppliers employ 1,700 people and the firm has built several new manufacturing plants in recent years, that's a warning that has special resonance.
(Note: The Post editorial quotes AWEA as saying employment in the wind industry has risen from 2,500 in 2004 to 20,000 today. Those figures come from a report on manufacturing jobs alone. The wind industry employed 75,000 workers in 2010, according to the AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report.)
Commented the Post:
“The credit, which is set to expire at the end of 2012, keeps wind energy competitive with other types of power and helps companies draw financing.
“We hope that Sen. Mark Udall and Reps. Diana DeGette and Cory Gardner will use their positions on their respective chambers' energy committees to advocate for an extension sooner rather than later.
“'I get it, and there is a block of senators who are working to see it is extended,' Udall was quoted as saying at an event in Pueblo last week. 'It will probably be part of a bigger package that would also extend the payroll tax deduction, but I can't believe that Congress won't get this done.'
” … Reaching a deal in the near term would provide certainty to an industry that has seen significant growth in recent years. If that means attaching the measure to the payroll tax extension, so be it.
“'The wind-energy industry is bringing down costs and in a few years won't need the tax credit, but for now — and in this economy — it should be extended,' former Gov. Bill Ritter told The Post's Mark Jaffe.”
WindTV: Solid, dependable jobs up in the air, January 12, 2012
Wind power contributes to improving manufacturing jobs picture, January 9, 2012
WSJ op-ed: 'Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy', January 5, 2012
Will Congress give gift of wind power jobs to Americans or foreign countries?, January 3, 2012
Fact check: Heritage errs in supporting job-killing tax hike, December 19, 2011
Fact check: Globalwarming.org ignores energy incentive history, December 19, 2011
Blogger sees PTC extension as 'no-brainer', December 15, 2011
Don't hit wind with job-killing tax hike, December 5, 2011
Fact check: Pompeo and Labrador miss mark with subsidy bill, December 1, 2011
Selective Use of Energy Subsidies is Unfair (letter to editor, Washington Times), November 30, 2011
Red State Energy, Red State Jobs, November 29, 2011
Governors' letter urges prompt extension of wind tax incentive, November 16, 2011
Wind power: Keeping America's lunch money at home, November 14, 2011
Clean energy: A bipartisan goal, November 9, 2011
Nonpartisan Congressional report underscores need for stable wind energy policy, October 3, 2011
Iowa Gov. Branstad cites wind jobs, current and future, September 14, 2011