Just hours ago, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota addressed Congress with a clear directive for his colleagues in the Senate: extend the renewable energy production tax credit. The Senator hit all the key reasons why the Senate needs to take action immediately: tens of thousands of American manufacturing jobs on the line, the long timeline necessary for orders, and energy independence.
The impacts of congressional inaction are real for Minnesota, and Sen. Franken shared the story of Terry and Janet Carlson from Parkers Prairie Minnesota:
“[Their] family believes in renewable energy and the benefits it can provide to [the] localcommunity. Besides being environmentally friendly, wind energy has proved to be a great economic benefit to the State of Minnesota and small communities such as ours.
But the 2012 expiration of the production tax credit has created a high level of uncertainty in the wind industry… [They] have a significant amount of time and money invested in this project and the production tax credit expiration has a significant impact on [the] project moving forward. It also has a significant impact on the thousands of renewable energy related jobs in America and theeconomic boon it would provide to our community.
Terry and Janet have good reasons to be concerned. A Navigant Consulting study found that if the production tax credit is not extended, construction of wind turbines will drop by 75 percent in 2013. That means a lot fewer manufacturing jobs and construction jobs. In fact, if Congress fails to extend the production tax credit, the wind industry will lose half of its jobs, dropping from about 80,000 in 2012 to 41,000 in 2013. 39,000 well paying construction and manufacturing jobs will evaporate if Congress fails to extend this tax credit.
There are people just like Terry and Janet all across the country. As the senator said, “the wind industry has been a bright spot in these tough economic times,” with over 400 facilities across 43 states employing Americans involved in manufacturing parts for the wind industry.
We applaud senators and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle for their leadership on this critical issue, as they continue to press for an immediate extension of the PTC and stand up for U.S. manufacturing jobs.
You can see Senator Franken’s full remarks here.
To share your story with your own senator and members of Congress, visit http://act.awea.org.