One of the leading bipartisan political groups in America weighed in on Friday in favor of extending the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC).
"Today we urge you to extend the PTC. Extending the credit now is critical to maintain and increase U.S. manufacturing jobs given that any continued policy uncertainty results in developers stopping turbine orders for installation beyond 2012. In turn, the uncertainty and lack of supply chain orders is already causing wind manufacturing companies to layoff American workers," stated a letter from the Western Governor’s Association that was delivered to Congressional leadership on Friday.
The Western Governors' Association currently includes 13 Republican and six Democratic governors. Its latest endorsement further illustrates the broad bipartisan support for an immediate extension of the PTC.
The PTC incentive reduces taxes on the operators of wind farms and leaves more of the money they earn from electricity sales in private hands, helping to attract $15 billion a year in private investment into new wind farms in the U.S. The benefits extend to component manufacturers, suppliers, trucking companies and more.
The PTC only rewards results, providing 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 by early next year.
A House bill seeking to extend the PTC has 119 cosponsors, including 25 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, and the American Farm Bureau Federation. 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 many newspapers across the country, including the Des Moines Register, the Denver Post, the Daily Oklahoman, the Toledo Blade, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times.